Judge Rejects Plea Deal for Former Casper Doctor in Drug Case
A former Casper doctor facing separate allegations of sex assault and attempting to obtain a controlled substance is, once again, set to stand trial on the drug charge, after a judge rejected a plea agreement Tuesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Judge Thomas Sullins ordered the case against Paul Michael Harnetty be reset for trial. Harnetty remains free on $50,000 personal recognizance bond.
The drug case -- filed separately from another case against Harnetty alleging 10 counts of sexual assault against his former patients -- saw Harnetty charged with attempting to obtain the synthetic steroid Nandrolone.
Per a proposed plea agreement filed Oct. 11, Harnetty had planned to plead guilty to that single felony charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
But in court Thursday, Harnetty's attorney asked that sentencing take place after Jan. 22 -- the date on which Harnetty's sexual assault trial is set to commence.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Schafer told Sullins that the plea agreement did not include any provision as to the date of sentencing.
Because the parties did not agree on the terms of the deal, Sullins rejected the plea agreement and ordered the matter reset for trial.
According to charging documents, Harnetty tried to get his hands on 12 10-milliliter bottles of Nandrolone in April 2016. He allegedly ordered the Nandrolone from an online business based in China.
The package was delivered to Harnetty on April 18, 2016, and law enforcement subsequently executed a search warrant at Harnetty's address.
Officers allegedly found the box contained Nandrolone, computers, cell phones and other evidence.
Harnetty voluntarily relinquished his license on Oct. 7, 2016, due to an ongoing investigation of wrongful practice allegations against him.
In the sexual assault case, Harnetty could face 16-190 years in prison if convicted of the eight counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault charged against him.