Lynnette Blake: No contest plea for ex wellness center owner accused of posing as doctor

Now faces 1-15 years behind bars

Once a self-described doctor who had all the answers, Thursday morning Lynnette Blake had little to say to the Contact 5 Investigators and a Martin County Judge.

"You are not contesting or disputing the case against you.  It has the same effect as a guilty plea," explained Judge Elizabeth Metzger.

It’s been nearly a year since Blake was arrested.  The former owner of the "Back to Eden Wellness Center" in Stuart has now agreed to face the consequences for what investigators described as her year-long role of playing doctor.  Blake faces more than 50 charges including practicing without a license.

"She came out pretending to be a doctor and the reason we license our doctors is so they don't do any harm," said Assistant State Attorney Erin Kirkwood after today’s court change of plea hearing.

In February, the Contact 5 Investigators showed the images that revealed Blake’s elaborate scheme.  Martin County Sheriff’s investigators shared photos inside her wellness center.  Pictures revealed an office equipped with medical tools to treat the health-seeking, desperately-hoping and often, terminally ill.

"The cancer patients that she treated, it certainly gave them false hope," said Kirkwood.

"Her claim was that she could cure the cancer. She could cure mesothelioma," said Christine Hughes. 

Earlier this year, Hughes shared how her husband, Johnnie, was dying by the time he sought treatment from Blake.  She said Blake treated him with cocktails of unknown I-V drugs and put him on a protein-free 21 day diet.

Cancer ultimately took Johnnie’s life but Christine believes Blake stole his final days.

"I believe in my heart she pushed him into his grave a whole lot quicker," she said.

When asked about her actions and change of plea, Lynnette Blake refused to comment.  Her attorney adding, “No comment.”

Blake faces one to 15 years behind bars.

"She deserves all 15,” said Christine Hughes.  “She doesn't deserve the sympathy of anybody.”

Blake will be sentenced August 1, 2014. 

For Christine Hughes sentencing day can't come soon enough.

"She's a despicable human being who doesn't deserve any sympathy."