HAMILTON, Mont. — A southwestern Montana physician who lost his license for allegedly overprescribing pain medication faces trial next week on 22 felony counts, including two charges of negligent homicide for the overdose deaths of two patients.

Jury selection began Thursday in the case against Chris Christensen of Florence. Opening arguments are scheduled to start Monday.

The Ravalli Republic reports Ravalli County prosecutors on Thursday consolidated 388 criminal counts of distributing dangerous drugs down to 11 — one for each person involved.

District Judge Jeffrey Langton has ruled that jurors won’t hear that Christensen lost his medical license in Montana, but they can hear that he surrendered his license in Idaho in 2001 after at least five patients died and six were hospitalized due to drug overdoses. Prosecutors argue that proves Christensen was aware of the risks associated with over-prescribing.


Information from: Ravalli Republic , http://www.ravallirepublic.com