HAMILTON, Mont. — The Latest on the conviction of a western Montana doctor in the overdose deaths of two patients (all times local):
A western Montana pain doctor plans to appeal his convictions on 22 felonies, including two counts of negligent homicide in the overdose deaths of two patients.
Chris Christensen was convicted Monday in the deaths of Greg Griffin and Kara Philbrick-Lenker.
Ravalli County prosecutors argued Christensen should have known his prescribing practices were putting patients at risk after the overdose deaths of five patients in Idaho in the 1990s.
Defense attorney Josh Van de Wetering said they plan to appeal after Christensen is sentenced in late December. He says even if Christensen’s prescriptions were misguided, that doesn’t constitute a crime or make him responsible for anyone’s death.
The case began when other members of the medical community complained about Christensen’s prescribing practices and some pharmacists refused to fill his prescriptions.
The state Board of Medical Examiners revoked his medical license in January 2016.
A western Montana pain doctor has been found guilty of 22 felonies, including two counts of negligent homicide for the overdose deaths of two of his patients.
Jurors returned their verdict against Chris Christensen of Florence on Monday morning. They received the case on Thursday.
Christensen also was found guilty of 11 counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs and nine counts of criminal endangerment.
Prosecutors alleged Christensen overprescribed opiates and other drugs in dangerous combinations and should have known his prescribing practices were dangerous because five of his patients in Idaho died in the 1990s.
Defense attorney Josh Van de Wetering argued Christensen was a compassionate physician who prescribed drugs to ease patients’ suffering.
The state Board of Medical Examiners has suspended Christensen’s medical license.