4/13/2014, Murder charges dropped against West Palm Beach doctor


At one time, prosecutors said they intended to seek the death penalty against [Dr. John] Christensen for causing the 2007 overdose death of Florence Faye Garrett, 47, of West Palm Beach, and the 2008 overdose death of Pawel Staniszewski, 31, of Royal Palm Beach.  After further researching the law, Burns said she was convinced the charges were improper. Until 2010, only certain drugs were listed in a state statute that allows prosecutors to charge people with first-degree murder by drug distribution. For instance, methadone, a drug that was in Staniszewski’s system, wasn’t one of them…

Similar murder claims were made against Drs. Cynthia Cadet and Joseph Castronuovo, who were charged in federal court with causing the deaths of six and two patients, respectively. A jury last year cleared them of the charges that could have sent them to prison for life. Both instead were convicted of money-laundering in connection with their work for clinics run by Wellington resident Chris George

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