California neurosurgeon acquitted of 2 murder charges, jury hung on remaining 5 counts

Spine

The trial for a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based neurosurgeon accused of causing four patient deaths by overprescribing opioids concluded March 20, The Press Democrat reports.

Thomas Keller, MD, was acquitted of four of the nine counts against him, which included the second-degree murders of two patients and recklessly prescribing medications to another patient.

However, the jury was hung on the remaining five counts, which included the second-degree murder of two other former patients and recklessly prescribing medications to another two.

The jury was also unable to return a verdict on the charge of elder abuse relating to a woman who died from respiratory issues with dangerous levels of prescription drugs in her system.

Prosecutors must decide if they wish to set a new trial date for the five counts on which the jury could not reach a decision.

In June, Dr. Keller will stand trial in federal court on charges of prescribing drugs outside the scope of practice as well as Medicare fraud.

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