GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - A well-known Johnson City doctor will spend two years in federal prison despite pleas for probation.
Dr. William Kincaid was convicted of receiving an illegal shipment of a cancer medication in December after entering into a guilty plea. The physician once practiced at McLeod Cancer and Blood Center in Johnson City.
The Monday morning sentencing took hours and garnered a lot of attention. The courtroom was literally packed with family, friends, and former patients of the physician.
The room was so full many people were turned away, but whether in support of the defense or prosecution the waiting is now over.
Elizabethton resident Dannie Pate will never know if his late wife, Ruth Darlene Pate, died as a result of non-FDA approved cancer medication. "She was a patient of Kincaid's for 84 days," said Pate. "They cannot test the drugs that were given to her. She's gone."
What Pate and others can know for sure now is that Dr. William Kincaid will spend two years in prison for his conviction.
Federal Judge J. Ronnie Greer said Kincaid knowingly broke the law out of greed by allowing Medicare, Medicaid, and TennCare to reimburse his practice for non-FDA approved drugs.
Three friends of the physician testified to Judge Greer asking for leniency, but Dr. Kincaid's sentence was just one year less than the maximum penalty for his conviction, which was also the guideline given to the judge. "The word I would use would be probably disappointed. I was hoping for probation with maybe some community service work and give him the ability to continue giving back to the community," Guy Blackwell, Dr. Kincaid's defense attorney, said shortly after the sentencing hearing.
Dr. Kincaid did not address the media, but he did tell Judge Greer during the hearing that was very sorry for his actions and accepts full responsibility. "One thing everybody needs to remember is there's no evidence of any harm to anybody," Blackwell said.
In fact, prosecutors, defense counsel, and the judge agree that there are no official patient victims in this case.
Even so, for Dannie Pate, Kincaid's sentence is a relief, because he'll always have to wonder. "We trusted her life with Dr. Kincaid, and as it turns out, he was not trustworthy," said Pate.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian told News 5 he believes Dr. Kincaid's sentence is satisfactory and will serve as an adequate deterrent for other doctors.
Blackwell said Dr. Kincaid has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the state and federal government as restitution and penalty for his actions. That is 60 percent of a total $4.4 million payout that Dr. Kincaid is sharing with two other doctors.
Judge J. Ronnie Greer is allowing Dr. Kincaid to self-report to prison. At the defense's request, the judge recommended prison sites in Florida and Alabama.
We're told a letter from the Federal Bureau of Prisons will be sent to Dr. Kincaid telling him where and when to report.