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Federal judge mulling impact of Supreme Court ruling in Kansas painkiller deaths case

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WICHITA, Kansas — A ruling earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court may affect the case of a Kansas couple imprisoned for a moneymaking conspiracy at a Haysville pain clinic linked to 68 overdose deaths.

Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda Schneider, were convicted in 2010 of conspiracy, unlawfully prescribing drugs, health care fraud and money laundering. The doctor was sentenced to 30 years and his wife to 33 years.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot is now considering the effect of a January ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a separate case. That decision held that the victim's drug use had to be the actual cause of death, not merely a contributing factor.

A court filing Wednesday indicates federal prosecutors have conceded the Supreme Court ruling applies retroactively to the Schneider case.

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