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Ex-Oklahoma City doctor accused of murder in overdose cases

  |   Jan. 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A former Oklahoma City doctor faces nine counts of murder in the drug overdose deaths of eight of his patients and a ninth person killed by one of his patients.

William Martin Valuck, 71, was charged Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court with the murder charges, as well as 72 counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, the Oklahoman reported.

Prosecutors say Valuck allegedly caused the deaths of Victoria Pretzer, Michelle Salazar, Jennifer Zimmerman, Paul Beesley, Christina Green, Joyce Curnett, SaShawn Saatian and Lorra Hilton by prescribing them lethal doses of controlled substances. Valuck is also accused in the death of Ronald Banton, who died in a car crash caused by Dustin Hall, a patient of Valuck's who was allegedly under the influence of drugs illegally prescribed by the doctor at the time of the crash.

"Our investigation has revealed that during a period of approximately one year, Dr. Valuck prescribed extremely large amounts of controlled substances -- including the most abused prescription drugs on the street -- to numerous patients with very little medical examination or the establishment of a valid doctor-patient relationship," Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control agent T.N. Briscoe wrote in the arrest warrant.

Valuck was "by far" the largest prescriber of controlled substances in the state of Oklahoma in 2013, Briscoe said.

Valuck received a license to practice as an osteopathic physician and surgeon in Oklahoma in December 2007.

The suspect is being held in the Oklahoma County jail without bail. He was arrested on Dec. 27 at his home in Kilgore, Texas.

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