California alleges doctor killed 4 patients with opioids

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s attorney general is charging a Northern California doctor with killing four patients by overprescribing opioids and narcotics.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he filed multiple charges against 72-year-old Dr. Thomas Keller of Santa Rosa related to nine of his patients. The charges include second-degree murder in four deaths and felony elderly abuse for a fifth patient who also died.

It’s the first time that a California attorney general has filed murder charges against a doctor for overprescribing opioids.

Defense attorney John Cox says his client is a pain management doctor who did his best, but several patients killed themselves and another died accidently.

The charges allege that between 2011 and 2017 Keller increased patients’ prescriptions while also prescribing other drugs that can cause a dangerous interaction.

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