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January 10, 2014

Ex-doctor in Okla. charged with nine counts of murder

OKLAHOMA CITY — After the birth of her daughter about a decade ago, Christy Green got an infection in her breast. Doctors prescribed pain medication, and Green got hooked. Authorities allege she soon began popping more and more pills, assisted by the one person who should have been watching out for her: her doctor.

Green died in September 2012 at the age of 33 from drug toxicity, and now the doctor who prescribed her hundreds of pain pills, William Martin Valuck, 71, is facing a murder charge for her death and the deaths of seven other patients who died from drug overdoses. Valuck also faces a murder charge in the death of a man killed by a patient who reportedly caused a fatal wreck while under the influence of pain medication.

“He (Valuck) basically gave her a loaded gun and said, ‘Here you go,”’ said Green’s sister, Kathy Green. “He didn’t force her to take those pills, but he didn’t help either.”

Court documents in the case paint Valuck as someone who preyed upon vulnerable individuals like Green who were in the depths of addiction, going so far as to have one member of his staff threaten a patient’s mother who pleaded with him to stop overprescribing her daughter. Valuck was the largest prescriber of controlled dangerous substances in Oklahoma from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 26, the day before federal agents arrested him at his home in Kilgore, Texas, according to an arrest affidavit.

“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,” T.N. Briscoe, an agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, said in the affidavit.

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