Justia White Collar Crime Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Montana Supreme Court
State v. Christensen
In a split decision, the Supreme Court reversed Defendant's negligent homicide convictions but upheld his convictions on nine counts of criminal endangerment and eleven counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, holding that there was insufficient evidence to establish that Defendant's actions in prescribing narcotics was the cause in fact of the deaths of two of his patients.After a jury trial, Defendant, a licensed medical doctor, was convicted of several crimes related to the repeated prescribing of copious amounts of opiates and other narcotics to eleven individuals. Two of Defendant's patients died from drug overdoses. The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the convictions, holding (1) the State did not present sufficient evidence to establish that Defendant's actions were the direct cause of the two drug overdose deaths; and (2) Defendant was operating outside the bounds of a professional medical practice, and therefore, the exemption for medical practitioners acting within the course of a professional practice did not apply to the facts of this case. View "State v. Christensen" on Justia Law
State v. Johnson
Defendant entered a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of felony theft and to pay restitution for the loss incurred as a result of his fraudulent acts. At issue was whether the district court erred in issuing a restitution order where the State failed to submit sworn victim affidavits as required by 46-18-242(1)(b), MCA. The court held that defendant failed to preserve his objection to the pre-sentencing investigation report's omission of victim affidavits where, except for his lone objection on the date of sentencing, defendant did not alert the trial court of any claim that victim affidavits were required for an order of restitution in his case; where defendant's plea agreement expressly consented to the court's determination of restitution upon hearing; where his own filings acknowledged the accuracy of the surrender penalty figures; and where his pre-sentencing briefs stated the dispute in terms of legal argument regarding the measure of loss, which the parties had agreed to submit to the court for resolution, a ruling he did not challenge on appeal.