Colleague, former patient defend doctor indicted, accused of over-prescribing

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A Union County doctor accused of over-prescribing pain pills has been indicted on federal charges but some who know him best are coming to his defense.

Dr. Henry Ronald Emery practiced medicine out of his office, Liberty Medical, in Weddington for years.

“He is very, very clear – very, very careful,” said Dr. Bea Hill, a former nurse. “He looks at everything he knows -- his patients.”

Hill worked as an office manager for Emery for six years.

“There is no way-shape-or-form that he would ever prescribe something to somebody who didn’t need it,” Hill said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted Emery in September and accused him of over-prescribing buprenorphine, which is a drug used to treat opioid addiction that can also be abused.

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency claimed Emery dispensed it without a legitimate medical reason.

Hill and Travis Bayne, one of Emery’s former patients, reached out to Channel 9 after his indictment to tell us about the Dr. Emery they know.

Bayne said he got hooked on prescription painkillers after multiple surgeries.

“I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he saved my life,” Bayne told Channel 9.

Bayne said he was shocked when the feds arrested Emery.

“I really believe he is one of the best doctors I’ve ever met in my life and one of the best men I’ve ever met in my life,” Bayne said.

The indictment claims Emery prescribed a mixed substance containing some buprenorphine on multiple occasions with the intent of breaking the law.

Hill and Bayne said they don’t believe the charges against Emery are true.

“I thought you were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Hill said. “This is not what’s going on.”

“He would never do something like that,” Bayne said. “He just wouldn’t.”

The original trial date for this case was supposed to be on Monday but it was moved to January.

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