The Oklahoma County District Attorney amended charges against a former doctor accused in the deaths of his patients who prosecutors say were given prescription drug overdoses.
Dr. William Valuck entered a courtroom full of his alleged victims' families. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's office amended the charges against Valuck before Wednesday's hearing. The state dropped one of the nine murder counts originally filed against Valuck.
Prosecutors also dismissed 14 of the drug distribution charges.
To begin the preliminary hearing, prosecutors first called a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigator who testified to several circumstances that first concerned the agency. The investigator said it was suspicious that the doctor prescribed the same trio of painkillers, often abused on the street, to all patients.
Valuck allegedly told investigators he used the particular cocktail of drugs to treat patients because they were cheap. Testimony also revealed The DEA questioned the clinic's practice of primarily receiving cash as payment.
During 2013, The DEA officially opened an investigation and began conducting surveillance of the clinic. The investigator testified that agents observed van loads of people arriving together to see the doctor. The investigator said it raised a red flag.
The defense argued Valuck saw a working class of patients, most who did not have insurance. The defense also pointed out pain management clinics are prone to being exploited by drug seekers.
Cross examination of the DEA agent continues at this hour.
News 9 Reporter Lisa Monahan will have more on this story on News 9 at 5 p.m. And keeping checking News9.com for updates.