Investigators who traced 13 fatal painkiller overdoses to a rural doctor in Winchester hauled her into court in handcuffs and call her a heartless "pill mill" operator.

Dr. Elizabeth Reimers has an unlikely advocate as she fights those charges — the mother of one of the dead patients. That woman believes Reimers doled out the drugs in an attempt to help the man handle his persistent pain.

And a doctor at the emergency room that helped get a 130-count indictment against Reimers said he was troubled by the volume of prescriptions she wrote for addictive painkillers, but still thinks she is "getting a little bit railroaded."

Reimers, 38, could get life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.

Reimers, who is free on bond pending a March 31 trial, has declined to comment.