Dentist says he's innocent of prescription drug charge

Dr. Barry Simms is shown leaving his arraignment hearing Tuesday at Hardin County Circuit Court. Simms pleaded innocent to prescription drug charges.

An Elizabethtown dentist who was charged with writing illegal drug prescriptions in May 2002 was arraigned Tuesday in Hardin Circuit Court.

Dr. Barry Simms, 41, entered a not guilty plea for allegedly prescribing various painkillers to people who police said he never saw as patients.

He has been free on a 10 percent of $75,000 cash bond since just after his arrest for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a controlled substance. The felony and misdemeanor counts respectively could net Simms five to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

Hardin County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Shaw said Simms' case had been delayed for so long because of two factors.

"The lead officer in this case is Billy Edwards, who was injured earlier this year and off work for a lengthy amount of time," Shaw said. "The second reason is this is an open and active investigation and there are numerous co-defendants being uncovered as a result."

One of those co-defendants, James Gilbert Macy, 42, of Elizabethtown, was arraigned on drug charges Tuesday afternoon.

Macy, who owns Macy's Hair and Nails on Ring Road in Elizabethtown, entered a not guilty plea to allegedly working with Simms to get prescription painkillers illegally.

Simms did not speak in court, but Elizabethtown attorney Roger Rigney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Rigney said that he would not be representing Simms for the duration of the case. He said Louisville attorney Mark Chandler would be making all future appearance the defendant.

Simms hurriedly left the courtroom Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

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