Montana doctor to appeal conviction in fatal overdoses

HAMILTON, Mont. - 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.

© 2017 Associated Press


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