23 Aug 2014
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Pharmacy Killer's Doctor Charged in Two Overdose Deaths

Queens doctor who prescribed pain pills to David Laffer faces manslaughter charges.

Pharmacy Killer's Doctor Charged in Two Overdose Deaths

A Queens doctor who reportedly supplied painkillers to Medford pharmacy killer David Laffer is now charged with "recklessly causing the overdose deaths" of two men, New York City's Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor announced Thursday. 

Stan Li was to be arraigned Thursday on two counts of manslaughter, among other charges. 

Prosecutors say Joseph Haeg, of East Moriches, and Nicholas Rappold, of Queens, both died within days of receiving prescriptions written by Li.

Li worked as a full-time anesthesiologist at a hospital in New Jersey, but on the weekends, he operated a pain clinic, Medical Pain Management, in a basement office in Flushing, officials said. From there, he usually saw more than 70 patients a day between January 2009 and November 2011. 

"Prominently posted office procedures required patients to pay in cash for their visits, and increased the fee when prescriptions for large dosages of narcotic prescriptions were written," a statement from the Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor reads. 

Haeg died at the age of 37 following an overdose in his Long Island bedroom in December 2009. Prosecutors say Li prescribed Haeg "dangerous levels of narcotic drugs in high-risk combination with other controlled substances."

Haeg, whose death was caused by acute oxycodone intoxication, received prescriptions from Li for more than 500 pills of controlled substances, including narcotics, in the last month of his life, officials said. 

Additionally, LI is charged with selling prescriptions other than in good faith in the course of his professional practice to 20 patients, including Haeg and Rappold. A total of seven of these 20 patients ultimately died of prescription drug overdoses between January 2009 and December 2011, although the manslaughter charges only relate to two deaths. At least eight non-fatal overdoses occurred among this group of 20 patients during the time they were seeing LI. 

“Dr. Li flouted the fundamental principle in medicine: first do no harm," NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a press release. "He jeopardized lives by repeatedly prescribing dangerous controlled substances and narcotic drugs for cash, not medical need."

Newsday reported last year that Laffer, who gunned down four people at Haven Drugs in Medford on Father's Day in 2011, filled 24 prescriptions from Li--for more than 2,500 hydrocodone pills--in the two years prior to the shootings. 

Laffer was sentenced to life in prison. His wife, Melinda Brady, who pleaded guilty to first degree robbery for her role in the crime, which authorities said was planned to "feed an ugly addiction to prescription painkillers," is serving a 25-year sentence. 

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