Following a two-day deliberation, a Polk County District jury has acquitted Dr Daniel Baldi of involuntary manslaughter charges, including one relating to the 2010 death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, who was found dead in his hotel room after an overdose of morphine and the opioid fentanyl.
As The Des Moines Register reports, while Baldi still faces several malpractice suits, including some related to patients who were at the centre of the criminal trial, the jury determined that prosecutors had failed to prove that Baldi was reckless and his prescriptions led to patients’ deaths.
Baldi initially faced nine charges of involuntary manslaughter, but two were dismissed by Judge Gregory Brandt early in the trial. According to one juror, one of the defence’s strongest points was their repeated contention that patients are responsible for taking their medication properly.
Brenna Gray, widow of the Slipknot bassist, took the stand last month, during which she claimed that Baldi continued to prescribe Xanax to her husband while knowing his history of abuse, as well as alleging that the musician’s bandmates did little to help him in the months leading up to his death.
During her time on the stand, Baldi’s lawyer reportedly asked Brenna Gray if Dr Baldi could be held responsible for her husband’s overdose on drugs he may well have purchased from a street dealer. “I don’t know where he got them,” she reportedly replied. “It’s a hypothetical question. It’s not fair.”