A Payson doctor accused of illegally taking over a patient’s assets after her death is fighting a grand jury’s indictment.
At a Jan. 31 hearing, Dr. Michael Lowe’s attorney Elizabeth Flynn asked for more time to build a case against the grand jury’s indictment alleging Dr. Lowe took control of a vulnerable adult’s property.
Judge Peter J. Cahill approved Flynn’s request and gave her until Feb. 16 to file a motion for redetermination of probable cause.
Cahill set a case management hearing in Payson for 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 28.
Although the Gila County Attorney’s Office offered Dr. Lowe a plea deal, Flynn said in an e-mail that Lowe will not plead guilty and they “are still investigating the case to prove Dr. Lowe did nothing wrong.”
Dr. Lowe’s estranged wife, Heather Maureen Driscoll-Lowe, has also pleaded not guilty to the charge of theft from a vulnerable adult and is fighting the grand jury’s indictment.
In the indictment, the state argues that the Lowes took over management of the late Alicia Christopherson’s assets while acting in a position of trust and confidence as a friend.
Christopherson’s assets included a home and several other financial investments, totaling at least $500,000.
Soon after Christopherson passed in October of 2004, Dr. Lowe cashed out at least one of these investments, 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, according to the report.
Before she died, Christopherson allegedly altered her trust so Dr. Lowe was the beneficiary.
This change followed several prior amendments, which bounced Christopherson’s assets among several people.
It remains unclear from police reports if Christopherson was in a mental state to alter her trust, given an undisclosed medical condition.
Several people, including a doctor, interviewed by the police claimed Christopherson was not in any mindset to change her trust. However, Dr. Lowe told police he never asked Christopherson to alter her will. She had made the decision on her own, he said.
Dr. Lowe is still practicing medicine in Payson.
The Lowes are currently in the midst of divorce proceedings, according to court records.