As federal prosecutors file paper work on Tuesday seeking more time to build their case against Dr. Howard Diamond, court documents shed new light on Diamond's family and legal troubles outside of his medical practice.
Authorities arrested Diamond earlier this month on charges that include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering and abetting, distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud, and aiding and abetting. The charges also link Diamond's prescriptions to the overdose deaths of seven people. Diamond pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak ruled Monday that Diamond must remain in jail pending his trial on those charges.
Nowak's order requiring Diamond to remain in jail said she was also concerned that Diamond's home life and finances seemed unstable. She said Diamond proposed to reside with his wife Jennifer at their home in Sherman. Yet, Nowak noted, there were problems with that scenario. For one, the family has a history of domestic disturbances including an incident in 2015 in which Diamond was ultimately convicted of the lesser charge of disorderly conduct but the incident involved Jennifer Diamond.
Court records, Nowak said, also show that on Jan. 7, 2017, Diamond was reported to have assaulted Jennifer Diamond's children including Mikayla Mitchell, Jennifer Diamond's 17-year-old daughter who was found dead in Dallas just days before Diamond appeared in federal court for a detention hearing. Dallas Police are treating her death as a homicide.
While no authorities have linked Mitchell's death with her stepfather's federal charges — In fact, Diamond's attorney Peter Schulte said in a tweet last week that the two things were unrelated — Diamond's alleged treatment Mitchell did appear to figure into Nowak's decision to keep him behind bars to await trial.
A court record used to bring that state misdemeanor charge of assault says that Diamond, “cause(d) bodily injury to Mikayla Mitchell, a member of the defendant's family or household, … by punching the victim, or kicking the victim's back or head or pushing or shoving victim or causing victim to fall or causing victim to hit an unknown object.”
Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown said that charge is expected to be filed sometime this week. Nowak noted in her attachment to the detention order, that Diamond fled the scene of both assaults before police arrived. She also noted that both Diamond's current wife and his ex-wife have active restraining orders out against him and that Child Protective Services has opened a case related to Diamond and his family. Nowak said Diamond failed to mention either of those restraining orders when speaking with pretrial services.
She also said Diamond has previously been “treated for sex/love addiction” and that he and Jennifer Diamond currently see a marriage counselor.
Nowak said Diamond told pretrial services that his house in Sherman is valued at $289,000 and further investigation revealed that it is actually valued at $566,041. “Additionally, though Dr. Diamond disputes the amount, the Internal Revenue Service claims Dr. Diamond owes approximately $89,000 in back taxes for his failure to file federal taxes for years,” Nowak wrote.
“Taken together, his unstable (and allegedly violent) home situation, omissions to the Court concerning his family and home life, ostensible willingness to evade authorities, as well as the inconsistencies concerning Dr. Diamond's financial situation and admitted significant debt obligations, mitigate in favor of detention,” Nowak wrote.
If convicted of all of the charges he faces, Diamond could face up to life in prison.
On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Rattan filed an unopposed motion to take the case off the fast track. The motion said the case has been designated a complex case because the “voluminous discovery and the nature of the prosecution make it unreasonable to expect adequate preparations for pretrial proceedings or the trial itself within the time limits established.”
Rattan said the case involves approximately 1,000 patient files, hundreds of pages of pharmacy data, and financial records. “Further, overdose deaths have been alleged in the indictment and multiple other deaths are linked to the defendant. The discovery contains over 40 gigabytes of information,” she said.
She asked for the designation as a complex case and that the pretrial conference date and deadline be postponed to another time.