Published: 07-Sep-2012 10:13
A doctor who treated late Slipknot star Paul Gray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter relating to the rocker's death in 2010.
Physician Daniel Baldi, from Des Moines, Iowa is facing eight counts of prescribing narcotic painkillers to patients who later died of an overdose.
Gray, 38, was found dead in his Iowa motel room in May 2010 after suffering an accidental drug overdose.
Eight patients, including the musician, have now been included in court papers, and prosecutors allege Baldi "did unintentionally cause the death of Paul Gray by the commission of an act likely to cause death or serious injury... (He allegedly) continually wrote high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict from 12/27/2005 until his death."
The doctor appeared in court to face the charges on Wednesday and Judge Odell McGhee entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Baldi was later released on $16,000 bail and if convicted on all counts, he faces up to 16 years in prison.
Baldi's lawyer, Guy Cook, tells America's Des Moines Register, "It is unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor... Unexpected deaths can occur in severe, chronic pain patients, unrelated to medical treatment. This is especially true with patients who are drug addicts or drug abusers."
Gray's widow, Brenna, and his Slipknot bandmate Shawn Crahan are listed on the preliminary complaint as being among nine people interviewed during the investigation.
Crahan says, "None of it is going to bring back our brother Paul. This epidemic of this sort of activity is becoming more and more... evident. It truly is becoming a problem amongst people. And it trickles all the way down to the youth. And awareness needs to be brought about... not only substance abuse but the ability to acquire substances, to get chemicals and the efficiency of it... Hopefully justice will be served."