Former Tyrone doctor files motion to withdraw guilty plea

Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael T. Madeira confirmed this morning that a former Tyrone doctor has filed a motion with the Blair County Court of Common Pleas seeking to withdraw a guilty plea entered in October.
According to Madeira, Barry Bender, 56, claims his attorney, Thomas Dickey of Altoona, was too wrapped up in the current trial of a Cambria County man to handle his case efficiently. Bender claims Dickey hastily rushed the plea bargaining process in his case.
The motion was filed by Bender’s new counsel, Brian Walk of Harrisburg, who was the lead defense attorney for Jessica Holtmyer, who was convicted of killing a 16-year-old girl in Clearfield County three years ago.
The plea that was signed in October showed Bender admitting guilt to seven charges and agreed that a sentence amounting to up to 20 years. In exchange, Madeira agreed to drop 26 charges against him.
He signed a plea agreement to two counts of sexual assault and five counts of unlawfully distributing prescription medication, including Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanex, Lorcet, Lozazepan and non-prescription narcotics such as cocaine and Ecstasy.
Bender now resides in Houtzdale and used to live in Lock Haven and Tyrone. It was during his residency in Lock Haven more than eight years ago when the investigation began into his alleged drug, alcohol and sexual activities with juvenile boys.
Madeira said sentencing before Judge Jolene Kopriva is scheduled for Friday and the motion would be ruled upon then.
Already, the prosecution of the case has stalled numerous times at the request of Bender due to heart complications.