Two years after the tragic passing of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, a major development related to his death has surfaced in the case of a Des Moines, Iowa, doctor charged today (Sept. 5) for involuntary manslaughter. Physician Daniel Baldi was busted for over-prescribing narcotic painkillers to his patients, with one of the eight victims being revealed as Paul Gray.
According to the Des Moines Register, the charging documents claim Baldi “did unintentionally cause the death of Paul Gray by the commission of an act likely to cause death or serious injury, to-wit, continually wrote high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict from 12/27/2005 until his death.”
In basic terms, Baldi is being accused of playing a role in the death of Paul Gray. This is a stunning development in the case of the beloved musician, whose death was ruled an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl. The autopsy also showed that Gray had significant heart disease.
Gray was found dead at the age of 38 in a hotel in Urbandale, Iowa, on May 24, 2010. After a long break, Slipknot have soldiered on with bassist Donnie Steele filling in during the band’s live shows. After headlining the Mayhem Festival and a pair of Knotfest shows this summer, Slipknot are in the early stages of planning their first album since Gray’s untimely death.
As for Baldi, his lawyer claims that the charges against him are unprecedented in the state of Iowa. The physician faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted on the eight counts of involuntary manslaughter. We will follow this major story as it develops.
SLIPKNOT has released a statement about the involuntary manslaughter charges brought against a Des Moines, Iowa, doctor yesterday (Wednesday, September 5) in connection with the death of the band’s bassist, Paul Gray (pictured below). Physician Daniel Baldi is accused of prescribing large amounts of narcotic painkillers to patients who later died of overdoses, including Gray.
SLIPKNOT‘s statement in its entirety:
“As the loss of our brother Paul Gray is still very fresh for us in the SLIPKNOT family, this new development has us all in a state of anger and sadness. The fact that this person took advantage of our brother’s illness while he was in a position to help others has outraged everyone in our family. We can only hope that justice will be served so this can NEVER happen to anyone else ever again! Our thoughts go out to the families of the other victims. We plan to cooperate as much as we possibly can to ensure this tragedy is never repeated, and to make sure this man pays for what he has done.”
According to charging documents released at the doctor’s court hearing yesterday, Baldi is believed to have unintentionally caused the death of Paul Gray by writing “high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict” starting on December 27, 2005.
The doctor’s lawyer, Guy Cook, told DesMoinesRegister.com his client plans to vigorously fight the charges.
“It is unprecedented to turn unfortunate deaths or medical results into a crime against a doctor,” the lawyer said. “Unexpected deaths can occur in severe, chronic pain patients, unrelated to medical treatment. This is especially true with patients who are drug addicts or drug abusers.”
Gray passed away more than two years ago from an accidental overdose of drugs, leaving behind his wife Brenna and daughter October.
Brenna Gray revealed in a 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died on May 24, 2010. Brenna, who said she had dealt with Paul‘s drug issues several times over the years, explained, “I realized what was going on when I found things at home — then he passed away that Sunday. So I really had no time to make a move. On the Saturday I said, ‘Hey, we need to do something. We need to fix this.’ He agreed. He was getting ready to go out on tour with (side project) HAIL! and he said, ‘I’ll go get help after this tour.’ But I said, ‘You’re not going.’ I called his manager and told him to cancel. But I think it was a little too late.”
Paul was found dead in a hotel room in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, where he and SLIPKNOT were based. He was 38 years old.
Brenna said she didn’t know what led her husband to drugs, but thinks it had something to do with his childhood. She revealed that his father, who committed suicide, was also a drug addict, adding, “I never pushed him to talk about it because it was such a burden to him..”
The young widow also said she was shocked by some of the public reaction to Paul‘s death, saying, “If he could have controlled (his addiction), he would have. He wanted to be done with it. But it’s a life-long disease — even if he stayed clean for the rest of his life he’d still have had the disease.”