Doc blamed for overdoses sentenced to 12 years

DETROIT (AP) -- A suburban Detroit doctor blamed for the overdose deaths of three people hooked on prescription drugs has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts last Thursday followed prosecutors' recommended sentence for Paul Emerson. The government says Emerson gave substantial help against co-defendants. He could have faced more than 30 years.

Emerson pleaded guilty in 2009 to illegally putting hundreds of thousands of prescription painkillers on the streets. He had a clinic in Taylor.

He pleaded guilty to causing the death of a patient, but prosecutors say he was responsible for at least two more.

Emerson spent a decade in Mississippi where he was bounced from hospitals and sued for sexual harassment.

Published: Mon, Oct 25, 2010