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A Des Moines, Iowa doctor was charged on Wednesday (September 5th) with involuntary manslaughter because he allegedly over-prescribed painkillers to eight of his patients -- one of whom was Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, who died of a drug overdose in May 2010. According to the Des Moines Register, the charges against Dr. Daniel Baldi state that he "did unintentionally cause the death of Paul Gray by the commission of an act likely to cause death or serious injury, to wit, continually wrote high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict from 12/27/2005 until his death."
Gray was found dead at the age of 38 in a hotel room outside Des Moines, surrounded by drug paraphernalia. His death was ruled an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, with his autopsy showing that Gray also suffered from significant heart disease.
The other seven victims named in the case also all died of overdoses.
The 50-year-old Baldi helped run an Iowa Health System pain clinic that closed without explanation in June. He currently faces four medical malpractice lawsuits, including three wrongful death suits for three of the deaths named in the criminal charges.
Baldi's attorney claims that the charges against his client are unprecedented in the state of Iowa, saying, "It is unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor. 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's widow, Brenna, revealed in an April 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died on May 24th, 2010.
Slipknot percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan told us at the time that he tuned out the negative comments people made about Gray and his drug problem: "I had to finally release myself of any of it, you know. I had to void myself of what people were saying. 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."
After a lengthy hiatus, Slipknot resumed touring last year with Donnie Steele playing bass live. The band intends to enter a recording studio sometime in 2013 to begin work on its first album without Gray.