HAMILTON — A western Montana pain doctor who was convicted of prescribing drugs to two patients who died of overdoses has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
District Judge Jeffrey Langton sentenced 69-year-old Chris Christensen on Friday to 20 years in prison with 10 suspended. The Ravalli Republic reports Langton stayed Christensen’s sentence pending an appeal of his convictions.
Christensen was convicted in November of two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of Greg Griffin and Kara Philbrick-Lenker. He also was convicted of 11 counts of drug distribution and nine counts of criminal endangerment for patients who survived overdoses.
Prosecutors alleged Christensen overprescribed opiates and other drugs in dangerous combinations and should have known he was putting patients at risk because five of his patients in Idaho died and six others were hospitalized in the 1990’s because of overdoses.
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