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Court changes scheduling in Kan. illegal drug case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge is approving changes in hearing schedules in a case involving a Manhattan doctor accused of illegally distributing prescriptions from his Kansas clinic.

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson approved the motion late Thursday to grant time for plea negotiations to continue between prosecutors and attorneys for 53-year-old Michael P. Schuster.

Schuster is charged with one count each of conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances, drug distribution, unlawfully distributing drugs to a person under 21 years old and using and maintaining a premises for drug distribution.

Prosecutors allege Schuster signed blank prescription pads that his staff used to give painkiller prescriptions to patients when Schuster was out of the country.

Robinson's order delays court action from January until early February, with a trial date of May 19.