An Oklahoma doctor is facing nine counts of murder. Investigators say he was doling out extremely large amounts of prescription drugs and in several cases people died because of it.
The arrest is the result of a one year investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the DEA.
Dr. William Valuck was arrested over the weekend in Texas. He has waived extradition and is now on the way back to Oklahoma where he faces a total of 53 separate felony counts.
"She loved life, she was very caring." That's how Stephanie Lundsford describes her sister Victoria Pretzer.
Pretzer is one of the nine people Dr. Valuck is accused of killing. She overdosed last Thanksgiving. Investigators say the day before she was found dead, Dr. Valuck prescribed 470 pills.
"When I saw all the different pills and how many, I knew something was wrong because you can't mix those pills. It's dangerous," said Lunsford.
A former patient who asked not to be identified tells us the waiting room of Dr. Valuck's office was typically packed. He only accepted cash or credit cards, no insurance, and wrote prescriptions with little or no medical examination.
"It was more like a shopping experience than a doctor's office," she said. "It was like ‘what do you want?' Not ‘here's what you need.' He never asked me for tests, he never ran any tests, and he never asked me for my records."
Investigators argue it was that behavior that led to nine deaths in a year's period. Eight were overdoses. Ronald Banton was killed when one of Dr. Valuck's patients, who police say was high on drugs, crashed into the back of Banton's car.
In addition to the nine murder charges, investigators say during the past year, Dr. Valuck is by far the largest prescriber of controlled dangerous substances. He's also charged with 42 counts of unlawful distribution of CDS.
"He knew what was going on," said Lunsford. "And you got to think, 'maybe I shouldn't have done that.' Is he even sorry?"
There are groups for people addicted to narcotics:
Dr. Valuck's attorney says at this time, it is premature to make any comment.