Attorney: Benoit's Doctor Surrenders,
Monday, July 2nd 2007, 12:44 pm
By: News On 6
ATLANTA (AP) _ The personal doctor of pro wrestler Chris Benoit surrendered Monday to face a federal charge in connection with a drug probe, the physician's attorney said.
Attorney Manny Arora said Dr. Phil Astin will face a single charge involving improperly prescribing medication at a hearing later Monday.
Federal drug agents have taken over the probe into whether Astin improperly prescribed testosterone and other drugs to Benoit before he killed his wife and son and committed suicide in his suburban Atlanta home last month. State prosecutors and sheriff's officials are overseeing the death investigation.
Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said he expected to have a criminal complaint and an indictment in hand Monday afternoon.
Arora said Astin ``is doing about as good as can be expected. He's disappointed and surprised.''
Meanwhile, the state prosecutor in the Benoit investigation said Monday he currently has no plans to file criminal charges in the case.
``From our standpoint, I have no reason to believe there will be any criminal charges at the current time,'' Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told The Associated Press. ``What the federal government is going to do, it will be up to them.''
Investigators have conducted two raids at Astin's west Georgia office since last week.
``It would be our belief and understanding that the federal authorities were looking for patient files and the computers that the files may be contained in to determine if prescriptions were written improperly,'' Arora said.
Astin prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past but has not said what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.
Meanwhile, toxicology tests on Benoit's body have not yet been completed, Ballard said.
Anabolic steroids were found in Benoit's home, leading officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as ``roid rage.''
``We're still asking questions and searching for answers with regard to the death so we can tie up loose ends,'' Ballard said.
Ballard said finding a motive in the case remains elusive.
``I think it will always be undetermined as to 'Why?''' Ballard said. ``I think it's because there can't be any satisfactory reason why you kill a 7-year-old.''
Authorities have said Benoit strangled his wife and son, placing Bibles next to their bodies, before hanging himself on the cable of a weight-machine in his home.
Benoit's father, Michael, said Monday that ``it's impossible to come up with a rational explanation for a very irrational act.''
``That's my feeling. Let the cards fall where they fall, we have no control over it at this point,'' he said. ``It's just impossible to come up with a rational explanation for what happened.''