DRACUT — More than three years have passed since a Middlesex County grand jury indicted a retired Dracut doctor on 46 charges — including one count of involuntary manslaughter — for allegations he illegally prescribed opioids resulting in a Lowell patient’s death.
Dr. Richard Miron’s attorney, Stephen Weymouth, said on Thursday that the case — which he describes as an “unfair prosecution” — is scheduled to resume in Middlesex Superior Court on May 23. At that time the court will review motions filed by Weymouth to dismiss all 46 counts in the indictment.
If the motions are denied, a trial date has been scheduled for Sept. 12.
In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Miron was indicted in December 2018 by a Middlesex County grand jury on 23 charges of illegal prescribing of controlled substances, and 23 counts of filing false Medicaid claims.
Miron was 76 at the time of the indictment.
Weymouth said in October 2020 that most of the alleged violations accuse Miron of filing Medicaid claims or prescribing medications without a legitimate medical reason to do so.
The involuntary-manslaughter charge stems from the death of one of Miron’s patients, 50-year-old Michelle Craib, nearly six years ago. Craib was found dead in her Lowell apartment in March 2016 with two fentanyl patches attached to her abdomen. There were also prescription bottles found at the scene, including for morphine, oxycodone and Fioricet with codeine.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Craib’s death was caused by acute intoxication from combined effects of fentanyl, morphine, codeine and butalbital, all prescribed by Miron.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office — which is prosecuting the case — said they began an investigation into Miron in September 2017 after a referral from MassHealth.
Miron was the largest provider of high-dose, short acting oxycodone prescriptions of all MassHealth care providers in the state between September 2015 and February 2016, according to the Attorney General’s Office. MassHealth terminated Miron from its program in 2017.
Miron’s is the first case in the state of a doctor indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for illegally prescribing opioids.
Weymouth said in October 2020 that he wants all the charges filed against Miron tossed, claiming the prosecution’s witness — a pain management physician — who testified during the grand jury trial, did not detail the entirety of Miron’s patient medical records.
Weymouth has described the physician’s testimony as “a slap in the face to a good doctor who practiced 45 years.”
“His testimony consisted of barely 40 pages in the grand jury over 12 patients,” Weymouth said. “There’s no way he reviewed all of the medical records that Dr. Miron meticulously maintained in connection with all of his patients. His opinion was that every problem that each patient presented to Dr. Miron, Dr. Miron’s response was to prescribe opioids and that isn’t true.”
Weymouth has claimed Craib failed to follow the directions provided when taking the drugs she was prescribed, which were provided to deal with a series of medical conditions. He noted Miron had taken a series of steps to ensure Craib did not abuse the drugs that were prescribed, including applying to get her a personal-care attendant through Medicaid.
A trial date for the case had initially been scheduled in April 2021, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Miron remains free on his own recognizance.
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis.