Slipknot bassist Paul Gray in 2005; PC: Wikimedia Commons
As most of you out there might be aware of, Slipknot bassist Paul Gray was found dead on Monday, May 24, 2010 by an employee at Towne Place Suites in Urbandale, Iowa. It was later revealed that the musician had died of an apparent pain killer overdose. He was 38.
Well, if that wasn’t enough to make this story a tragic event, it has been revealed that Des Moines physician Daniel Baldi was formally charged on Wednesday with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly prescribing large amounts or narcotics to patients who later died.
One of the eight victims has now been revealed and it unfortunately turned out to be the deceased bassist, Gray.
Baldi’s lawyer, Guy Cook, said that no other Iowa physician has previously ever been charged with any sort of crime of this nature.
“It is unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor,” Cook said.
It is believed that if Baldi, 50, is convicted of the crimes, he may face up to 16 years in prison, although Cook said he will fight against any conviction.
In case you’re wondering if there is any sort of legal precedent that might give you clues to the outcome of this case, national experts on the matter have said serious criminal charges are very unusual in similar cases – although they might just have already forgotten about the last case where a certain doctor was successfully convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of a famous client.
“I hope he does jail time,” said Deana McGillen of Des Moines, whose daughter, Brandy Stoutenberg, was one of the eight patients who died. “I hope he does a lot of time.”
According to the charging documents in the matter released on Wednesday, Baldi “did unintentionally cause the death of Paul Gray by the commission of an act likely to cause death or serious injury, to-wit, continually wrote high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict from 12/27/2005 until his death.”
Regardless of the outcome, the incident only exacerbates the growing national concern over pain killers as well as other prescription drugs, specifically their sometimes lethal consequences.