- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A former Oklahoma doctor charged with nine counts of first-degree murder after allegedly overprescribing large amounts of prescription drugs to patients will remain jailed until his trial, a judge ruled.

Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott rejected the request on Thursday by attorneys for 71-year-old William Valuck, who is charged with first-degree murder and 72 counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.

He’s accused of overprescribing large quantities of prescription drugs, and authorities say that led to the deaths of eight patients by drug toxicity and a ninth person who died in a car accident caused by one of his patients.

Valuck’s attorney, Jacob Benedict, had asked Elliott to allow Valuck to stay with his wife’s aunt in Oklahoma City until the trial begins, The Oklahoman reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1oxg2L8 ). He said Valuck has surrendered his passport and would have worn an ankle monitor. He also pointed out that Valuck has surrendered his medical license, meaning he can no longer prescribe drugs.

“He no longer has the ability to do harm in the way he is alleged to have done,” Benedict said. “He’s not a danger to society at all.”

Prosecutor Scott Rowland said the investigation is ongoing and that a significant amount of money brought in by Valuck has not yet been located and is thought to have been channeled out of the country.

Valuck’s preliminary hearing is set for April 4.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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