Des Moines Doctor Faces Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines doctor has been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly prescribing large amounts of narcotic painkillers to patients who took fatal overdoses, including a metal band's founder.

The Des Moines Register says Dr. Daniel Baldi appeared in Polk County District Court on Wednesday. A judge entered a plea of not guilty on Baldi's behalf.

One of the eight patients was identified in court papers as Paul Gray, a founder of the band Slipknot. He died of an overdose at an Urbandale hotel in 2010. According to court documents, Baldi unintentionally caused Gray's death by writing prescriptions narcotics to a "drug addict."

Baldi's attorney, Guy Cook, says bringing criminal charges is wrong. He says it's "unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor."

The Register says Baldi has faced three wrongful death lawsuits involving patients who died of overdoses. The Iowa Board of Medicine filed administrative charges against him last month.

Baldi helped run a pain treatment clinic in Des Moines, which closed at the end of June.
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