Earlier this week, as the Des Moines Register reports, local prosecutors charged Des Moines doctor Daniel Baldi with involuntary manslaughter in relation to the overdose deaths of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray and seven other patients. Gray, a founding member of the multi-platinum metal band, was found dead in an Iowa motel room from what autopsy results would show was an accidental overdose on narcotic painkillers. In a statement posted to Slipknot’s Facebook page yesterday, the masked metalers say the news about Baldi “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,” Slipknot’s statement reads. “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.”
Baldi could be jailed for up to 16 years if convicted on all eight counts of aggravated misdemeanors, according to the Register. His lawyer said he will fight the charges, describing them as “unprecedented.” Experts told the newspaper such cases are indeed rare.
Slipknot percussionist Shawn Crahan, sounded a poignant note in an interview with the Register. “None of it is going to bring back our brother Paul,” he said when asked about the charges. “Hopefully justice will be served.
Crahan also had tough words for drug abuse, including those who enable it. “This epidemic of this sort of activity is becoming more and more…evident,” he said. “It truly is becoming a problem amongst people. And it trickles all the way down to the youth. And awareness needs to be brought about.” He reportedly noted he was talking about “not only substance abuse but the ability to acquire substances, to get chemicals and the efficiency of it.”
Baldi isn’t the first physician to a music star to face criminal charges over adverse medical results. Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with giving Michael Jackson a fatal dose of sedatives in 2009, was convicted last fall of involuntary manslaughter.