His attorney says he will seek to persuade the judge to reduce the bond at Dr. Frank Lazzerini's arraignment Friday.

Dr. Frank D. Lazzerini faces hundreds of charges that could result in him going to prison for decades if he's convicted.

On Friday, his new attorneys will first focus on trying to persuade Stark County Common Pleas Judge Kristin Farmer to reduce his bond from $5 million so he can be free as he awaits trial.

Unless someone posts his bond by Friday, he would have been in the Stark County Jail a week since he was arrested on a 272-count secret indictment that charged him with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. He's accused of excessively prescribing pain medication that resulted in the deaths of two patients. The charges also include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, telecommunications fraud, grand theft, tampering of records, nearly 200 counts related to trafficking prescription pain medication along with 86 counts of writing illegal prescriptions.

His attorneys' task to get Lazzerini out of jail will be difficult.

Farmer Tuesday set bond at $5 million after hearing from the court's Pre-Trial Services officers who assessed Lazzerini's situation and likely questioned him about where he would stay if released. The high bond signals concerns he might attempt to flee. Lazzerini's new attorneys, Donald Malarcik and Brian Pierce, are expected to argue such concerns are unfounded.

"We're going to plead not guilty at Friday's arraignment and ask for a bond reduction," Malarcik said after meeting with his client Saturday at the jail. "I believe Dr. Lazzerini's lack of a prior record, his ties to the community and the fact that we've known about this investigation for over two years supports a lower bond ... $5 million is high."

He said his client was "obviously distraught" but "doing well under the circumstances."

Week in jail

Malarcik pointed out Lazzerini was arrested at his father's house in Akron the Friday morning before Presidents' Day weekend. By the time, he was processed at the jail, a bond decision couldn't be made until after the three-day weekend on Tuesday. Since Common Pleas court arraignments are held on Fridays, Lazzerini's attorneys could not argue for lower bond until he had been in the jail for a week.

Lazzerini went through a succession of three or four attorneys while he was under investigation the past two years, according to Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero. Malarcik and Pierce are seasoned criminal defense attorneys based in Akron. In 2014, Pierce helped get local businessman Benjamin Suarez acquitted of seven of eight federal charges related to campaign finance. Malarcik said he's long known Lazzerini's family.

Malarcik said he had no comment on the 95-page indictment of Lazzerini because he hadn't yet seen the evidence against his client.

"His prescribing practice was within the medical standards of care," he said.

Collapse in finances

Lazzerini, 40, of Barberton, filed for bankruptcy in August 2016. He reported total debt of $747,131 and a home in Barberton valued at $175,500, $400 in a checking account and $16,930 in his retirement account. He listed his medical practice as having no value.

He said in his filing he earned $448,439 in 2014 and $337,225 in 2015. But after police raided his doctor's practice in Jackson Township two years ago and seized his medical records, he said his income plummeted to $1,600 a month in unemployment benefits. He said his Lexus and Mercedes vehicles were repossessed. He worked for his father painting houses after agreeing to a suspension of his medical license during the investigation.

Malarcik said Lazzerini has "been through a lot. But he's resilient. And he appreciates the love and support from his family, friends and former patients. ... We appreciate the support for all the former patients who've reached out and expressed gratitude for Frank's involvement in their lives."

Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or robert.wang@cantonrep.com. Twitter: @rwangREP