Former Doctor Jailed While Supreme Court Decides on Appeal

Attorney Josh Van de Wetering said he made a mistake in filing Chris Christensen's appeal of the two counts of negligent homicide and 20 other felonies

By Molly Priddy

HAMILTON — A former pain doctor convicted in the overdose deaths of two patients will remain in jail in Hamilton while the Montana Supreme Court decides if it will accept his request for an “out-of-time” appeal.

Attorney Josh Van de Wetering said he made a mistake in filing Chris Christensen’s appeal of the two counts of negligent homicide and 20 other felonies. The Ravalli Republic reports Van de Wetering filed the appeal with the District Court rather than the Supreme Court.

In February, District Judge Jeffrey Langton sentenced Christensen to 20 years in prison with 10 suspended, but stayed the sentencing pending appeal.

After a hearing Wednesday in which Ravalli County prosecutors asked that the sentence be imposed, Langton said he would continue the status hearing for two weeks but that Christensen must remain jailed.

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