Dr. Louis Hampers, the Children's Hospital ER doctor charged with writing 654 fake prescriptions, appeared for the first time in a Colorado court today after being arrested in Virginia on September 7.
At a 2 p.m. hearing, Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tafoya denied him bail.
Instead, Tafoya set a detention hearing for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Denver, at which time Hampers and his attorney will be allowed to argue for bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway, who is prosecuting the case, requested that Hampers be detained without bond.
Hampers faces 655 federal charges, each of which carries up to a four-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. He is accused of using five phony patient aliases and the identities of three real people to pick up prescriptions he'd written for drugs such as generic Vicodin, Valium, Ambien and Ritalin at pharmacies in and around Denver.
Hampers is also wanted on warrants out of the Denver Police Department for harassment and witness intimidation.
One woman who won a restraining order against him, 9News investigative reporter Deborah Sherman, is suing Hampers in civil court for emotional distress and defamation, among other charges. Sherman and Hampers met on an adult dating website and went on one date. When Sherman broke it off, Hampers harassed her for months.
Hampers' court appearance today was brief. He wore a yellow jumpsuit with the words "JCSO JAIL" on the back. The only words he uttered were, "Yes, I do," when the judge asked whether he understood the charges and penalties he faces. It appeared that most of the spectators at the hearing were members of the local media.
Hampers, who was the head of emergency medicine at The Children's Hospital in Aurora until he took a voluntary paid sick leave in April, is also being investigated by the Colorado Medical Board. Prior to his arrest, he agreed to temporarily forfeit his medical license.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.