Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Pain Doc’s Appeal in Overdoses

Christensen was convicted of two counts of negligent homicide and 20 other felonies

By Justin Franz

HAMILTON — The Montana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a pain doctor who was convicted in the overdose deaths of two patients.

Attorney Josh Van de Wetering asked the Supreme Court to accept Chris Christensen’s appeal, saying he missed the deadline because he filed it with the District Court in Hamilton rather than with the Supreme Court.

The Ravalli Republic reports justices on Tuesday gave Van de Wetering 30 days to file notice of appeal.

Christensen was convicted of two counts of negligent homicide and 20 other felonies. Prosecutors said he prescribed pain medication and other drugs in dangerous combinations to patients at his clinic in Florence. His 10-year prison sentence was stayed pending appeal.

When the appeal deadline passed, District Judge Jeffrey Langton ordered Christensen jailed. A bail reduction hearing is set for June 6.

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