Former receptionist, pharmacist testify in Rowland Heights doctor's murder trial

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles jury heard new details in the case of a local doctor who is accused of second-degree murder connected to three patients who overdosed on medications she prescribed.

A key witness testified in court Tuesday who said Dr. Lisa Tseng's clinic was a mess, with paperwork everywhere and boxes stacked almost to the rafters.

Gloria Rodriguez, who was Tseng's receptionist, said patients' files did not have any doctor's notes. In one of the files, there were records of prescriptions Tseng ordered for a patient who had never stepped foot in the clinic, she said.

Rodriguez described dramatic changes at the Rowland Heights clinic after Tseng arrived. Families no longer packed the lobby, but rather men in their 20s who often paid with cash instead of through their insurance.

She added that the crowds were so large, lines formed outside and wait times were as long as three hours. Rodriguez said Tseng would see as many as three people at a time in an exam room.

Tseng's active prescribing allegedly led to three of her patients overdosing, according to prosecutors. But her defense counters that she did not feed drugs to the victims and that they ignored dosage instructions.

The family practice Tseng shared with her husband became a cash machine. At first it took in $500 to $600 daily, but it eventually went as high as $2,000 to $3,000.

Tseng prescribed powerful Oxycontin and Xanax in alarming amounts, one pharmacist said. She stopped accepting Tseng's orders.

Another key piece of evidence in the prosecution's case is that even after Tseng learned that some of her patients had died, she did not lighten up on prescriptions of the deadly drugs.
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