Former Craig doctor sentenced to prison | CraigDailyPress.com

Former Craig doctor sentenced to prison

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

Joel Miller would have been the first Colorado doctor to receive a sentence for causing the death of a patient, but a federal judge approved a defense motion for acquittal on that charge because of an error in the charging document.

A former Craig doctor who was convicted of overprescribing narcotic painkillers has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Joel Miller, who practiced in Craig from 2008 to 2010 at High Country Medical in Craig, was originally facing a 20-to-life sentence but a faulty indictment resulted in his most serious charge being dropped.

Federal Judge Robert Blackburn granted the motion for acquittal on the charge of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance resulting in a death because the word fentanyl was absent in the charging document.

"Count 24 alleges and identifies only hydrocodone, alprazolam and clonazepam as the substances which resulted in the death of (Shelly Volkmar). However, at trial, the evidence eliminated hydrocodone, alprazolam and clonezpam as controlled substances that resulted in death. … Therefore judgment of acquittal must be granted," Blackburn wrote in his order.

Miller would have been the first Colorado doctor to receive a sentence for causing the death of a patient.