A Payson doctor indicted on charges of taking control of a vulnerable adult’s property, pleaded not guilty in a Payson courtroom Monday.
Dr. Michael Paul Lowe, 41, said nothing as Judge Peter Cahill read the charges against him, allowing his lawyer Elizabeth Flynn to enter a plea of not guilty on all charges against him.
In an indictment, the state argues that Lowe took over management of the late Alicia Christopherson’s assets while acting in a position of trust and confidence.
According to a police report, Lowe was Christopherson’s doctor for a number of years, visiting her at home before and after she was under Hospice care.
Before Christopherson passed, she allegedly changed her trust so Dr. Lowe was the beneficiary of her property and investments, which investigating Payson Police Det. Michael McArnerny found totaled at least $500,000. Several people interviewed by the police claimed Christopherson was not in any mindset to change her trust, given her medical condition.
Flynn maintains Dr. Lowe did nothing wrong.
Cahill set a case management hearing in Payson with Lowe for 11 a.m., Monday, Dec. 20.
Deputy Gila County Attorney Lacy Hakim asked Cahill that Lowe give up his passport since “a substantial amount of money was stolen in this case” and he could be a flight risk.
Flynn said Lowe was ready to turn in his passport that day and that no money had been stolen.
Cahill released Lowe on his own recognizance as long as he handed over his passport, did not leave the state, attended all hearings and remained a law abiding citizen.
After his appearance, Dr. Lowe gathered his belongings and said “good luck” to his wife Heather Maureen Driscoll-Lowe.
Driscoll-Lowe, 40, has also been indicted by a Gila County grand jury on charges of theft from a vulnerable adult, but for an amount less than $25,000.
Driscoll-Lowe entered a not guilty plea through her attorney Michael Bernays and was released.
Driscoll-Lowe’s next court appearance is at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 13 in Payson.