Court Denies Appeal of Doctor's Life Sentences

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the four life sentences for a doctor convicted of distributing pills that led to the overdose deaths of four people.

In May 2011, Dr. Paul Volkman of Chicago was convicted on federal charges in the deaths that happened between 2003 and 2005. During that time, Volkman ran clinics in Portsmouth, South Point and Chillicothe.

The conviction followed a 35-day trial in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. A jury convicted Volkman on one conspiracy count, seven counts of unlawful distribution that did not lead to death, four counts of unlawful distribution leading to death, four counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.

In February 2012, Volkman was sentenced to four life sentences.

Volkman later appealed the conviction and sentence. He argued the district court erred by denying a proposed jury instruction he contended the Government’s expert witnesses improperly provided legal conclusions as to whether Volkman’s actions had a “legitimate medical purpose,” he claimed that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s guilty verdict on several charges, and he challenged the reasonableness of his sentence on numerous grounds.

Thursday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his appeal.judge on a 3-0 vote.

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