Ex-Florence physician found guilty of 22 felony charges - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana


Ex-Florence physician found guilty of 22 felony charges

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HAMILTON - A Ravalli County jury found former Florence doctor Chris Christensen guilty of 22 felony charges Monday morning.

The former Florence doctor was on trial for two counts of negligent homicide, nine counts of criminal endangerment and 11 counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, all felony charges.

Christensen faces up to 405 years in prison when he's sentenced on Dec. 27 in Hamilton.

The jury received the case after closing arguments Thursday afternoon after hearing a flood of detailed testimony from both sides over the course of several weeks. They deliberated for over 12 hours until reaching Monday's verdict. 

Several of the doctor's former patients testified in court, some telling stories of how their lives were turned upside down by his procedures over prescribing high amounts of opiates in dangerous combinations.

But defense attorneys claimed the state's prosecution is grasping at straws and that Christensen is innocent, prescribing drugs to ease people’s suffering.

The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office led a multi-agency raid at Big Creek Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Florence in the spring of 2014 after questions were raised over the way Christensen was dispensing prescription drugs.

- information from Augusta McDonnell included in this report.

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