Woman who allegedly forged doctor's note to delay prison sentence returns to court

The woman who allegedly forged a doctor’s note to postpone a nearly five-year prison sentence this week will be required to show legitimate papers confirming health complications to a judge in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for any consideration of a delay.

Michelle Astumian, 41, of Shell Beach was back in court Friday after collapsing Monday.

Deputy District Attorney Dave Pomeroy had alleged at Monday’s hearing that the doctor’s signature on a note Astumian presented had been forged.

Pomeroy said he called the physician to confirm that she hadn’t signed off on the note and Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera ordered her into custody.

Astumian has asserted that she has medical problems that require ongoing treatments and hoped for a six- to eight-month delay.

After collapsing, Astumian was taken by ambulance Monday to a hospital for treatment and later placed into custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail.

She has pleaded no contest to forgery of drug prescriptions and writing fraudulent checks. She faces a prison sentence of four years and eight months.

Astumian has a criminal record that includes four prison terms and a prior history of writing fraudulent checks.

LaBarbera said that he’ll need to see genuine paperwork from a physician confirming that Astumian requires medical treatment before possibly reinstating her bail. She is scheduled back before LaBarbera on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.