July 3, 2007 in Nation/World

After killings, wrestler’s doctor charged with drug distribution

Harry R. Weber Associated Press
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Astin
(Full-size photo)

ATLANTA – The personal doctor of a pro wrestler who killed his wife and son before committing suicide was charged Monday with improperly dispensing painkillers and other drugs to other patients.

The seven-count indictment said Dr. Phil Astin, physician to wrestler Chris Benoit, dispensed drugs including Percocet, Xanax, Lorcet and Vicoprofen between April 2004 and September 2005. The recipients were identified in the indictment by the initials O.G. and M.J.; Benoit’s initials were not listed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Walker ordered Astin held in lieu of $125,000 bond and said that regardless of whether he came up with the money, he would be in jail overnight. Astin will be under house arrest once he posts bond, she said.

A criminal complaint filed before the indictment and made public Monday said Astin had written prescriptions for about 1 million doses of controlled substances over the past two years, including “significant quantities” of injectable testosterone cypionate, an anabolic steroid.

The complaint by Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Anissa Jones said the amount of prescriptions was “excessive” for a medical office with a sole practitioner in a rural area like Carrollton, about 40 miles west of Atlanta.

The affidavit said Astin prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Benoit every three to four weeks between May 2006 and May 2007. It says that during a probe involving RX Weight Loss, Benoit was identified as an excessive purchaser of injectable steroids. Prosecutors would not clarify what RX Weight Loss is.

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