HONOLULU (KHON2) — Opening statements got underway in the trial of Big Island doctor Rudolph Puana, the brother of disgraced deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.
Prosecutors also called their first witness, Dr. Lynn Puana, the ex-wife of Rudolph Puana, who also shared the practice with him at the pain clinic on the Big Island.
Prosecutors claimed that Puana illegally gave prescriptions of opioids like oxycodone to his friends so they could sell them on the black market and buy cocaine. They were able to get 150 tablets a month and sold them for $15 to $20 each.
Prosecutors said one friend was able to get more than 4,600 tablets of oxycodone. Another one got more than 3,000.
Prosecutors described Puana’s relationship with friends as being filled with golf, alcohol, and more cocaine.
Attorneys for Puana said the Big Island doctor prescribed the pills with a legitimate purpose because he was actually treating them. And that he even started weaning them off the medication, which shows that they were prescribed legitimately.
His attorney said Puana will testify during the trial. He added that the reason Puana got embroiled in this federal investigation is because the feds were going after his sister, Katherine Kealoha.
The first witness for the government is Dr. Lynn Puana, the ex-wife of Rudolph. The couple worked together at the Puana Pain Clinic until they separated and divorced.
She testified about a notebook that Rudolph kept locked in a closet. It had handwritten notes on treatments and prescriptions, which had signatures made to look like hers. But she testified that they were not her signatures.
Lynn made photocopies of the entries in the notebook and then gave them to her attorney.
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Dr. Lynn Puana got a divorce from Rudolph Puana in 2015. She will be back on the stand on Friday so defense attorneys will get a chance to cross examine her.