LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin couple split by separate jury verdicts following trials in their child's death used fraud a combined 47 times in order to get prescription narcotics, according to a grand jury indictment.
The grand jury indicted Mark Wayne Clark, 33, on 29 counts of fraud and his wife, Vanessa Lynn Clark, 33, on 18 counts of fraud. All 47 counts are from 2011.
The Clarks went to trial separately in 2012 in connection to their infant son's death in 2010. It was their second son to die as a result of them sleeping with it. According to courtroom testimony, both Clarks used prescription drugs in 2010.
Drug prevention experts say prescription drug use is very dangerous and illegal, and the abuse will take some people to many lengths.
"People go to any means necessary to get prescription drugs whether its doctor hopping or even pharmacy hopping, going from one doctor or pharmacy to another, buying them off the street, or just taking too many," Melissa Mallory, the ADAC prevention coordinator, said.
Mallory said dealing with prescription drug abuse is a constant battle here in East Texas.
"Prescripton drugs, of course, is a big problem in our area; it is the third most abused drugs that we see here at our agency," Mallory said.
A jury found Vanessa Clark guilty of child endangerment in April. District Judge Paul White sentenced her to 119 months in prison. She is out of prison on a $100,000 appeal bond.
A jury found Mark Clark not guilty of the same charge in May. Court testimony revealed he did not know the infant was in bed with him when he died.
Vanessa Clark's indictment alleges she misrepresent herself on nine occasions in order to obtain hydrocodone and on eight occasions to obtain Xanax.
Mark Clark's indictment alleges he misrepresented himself on 15 occasions to obtain hydrocodone and on 14 occasions to obtain Xanax.