According to DesMoinesRegister.com, a Des Moines physician has been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly prescribing large amounts of narcotic painkillers to patients who later died of overdoses, including SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray (pictured below).
Daniel Baldi, who helped run an Iowa Health System pain clinic, is accused of unintentionally causing the death of Paul Gray by writing "high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict" starting on December 27, 2005, according to charging documents released at the doctor's court hearing today.
The doctor's lawyer, Guy Cook, told DesMoinesRegister.com his client plans to vigorously fight the charges.
"It is unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor," the lawyer said. "Unexpected deaths can occur in severe, chronic pain patients, unrelated to medical treatment. This is especially true with patients who are drug addicts or drug abusers."
Gray passed away more than two years ago from an accidental overdose of drugs, leaving behind his wife Brenna and daughter October.
Brenna Gray revealed in a 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died on May 24, 2010. Brenna, who said she had dealt with Paul's drug issues several times over the years, explained, "I realized what was going on when I found things at home — then he passed away that Sunday. So I really had no time to make a move. On the Saturday I said, 'Hey, we need to do something. We need to fix this.' He agreed. He was getting ready to go out on tour with (side project) HAIL! and he said, 'I'll go get help after this tour.' But I said, 'You're not going.' I called his manager and told him to cancel. But I think it was a little too late."
Paul was found dead in a hotel room in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, where he and SLIPKNOT were based. He was 38 years old.
Brenna said she didn't know what led her husband to drugs, but thinks it had something to do with his childhood. She revealed that his father, who committed suicide, was also a drug addict, adding, "I never pushed him to talk about it because it was such a burden to him.."
The young widow also said she was shocked by some of the public reaction to Paul's death, saying, "If he could have controlled (his addiction), he would have. He wanted to be done with it. But it's a life-long disease — even if he stayed clean for the rest of his life he'd still have had the disease."
SLIPKNOT co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) told The Pulse Of Radio he tuned out the negative comments people made after his bandmate's death. "I had to finally release myself of any of it, you know. I had to void myself of what people were saying," he said. "I mean, anything that was said negative doesn't even register, because anybody that wants to spend any time on the negative, you know, they're just going to have to deal with it with their own life, when their own father or mother or aunt or brother or sister dies. You're going to have to deal with the negative because it just comes along with death."
Paul and Brenna's daughter, October, was born three months after her father's death. Brenna said, "She went through a phase where she looked just like him . . . She has his smile: she has these huge dimples and when she smiles, that's Paul right there."