The body of 17-year-old Mikayla Mitchell was found floating in a South Dallas creek on July 16, 2017
Her stepfather, Howard Diamond, was arrested earlier this month on charges including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud.
Howard Gregg Diamond ran a very lucrative pain management practice with clinics in Sherman, Sulphur Springs, and Paris. He’s accused in the overdose deaths of seven patients between 2012 and 2016. This was part of his 21-count indictment that also accuses him of fraud among other charges.
The 56-year-old doctor in 2010 allegedly began issuing prescriptions for drugs — including fentanyl, hydrocodone and morphine, without any legitimate medical cause, according to an indictment cited by CBS News.
The unnecessary prescriptions contributed to the deaths of at least seven people over a four-year period, prosecutors alleged.While the doctor was based in Sherman, authorities said the overdoses occurred in cities across Texas including Abilene, McKinney and Sulphur Springs as well as the Oklahoma cities of Ardmore, Hugo, Idabel and Yukon.
In each of the seven cases, the person died within a month of filling a prescription issued by Diamond, the news station reported.
Texas doctor, Howard Diamond, has been charged in connection with the overdose deaths of seven people over a four-year period
In May 2013, a person filled a prescription for methadone and was dead two days later. A woman the following summer filled her prescription for alprazolam, morphine, oxycodone and zolpidem and died 10 days later, according to the indictment.
Howard Gregg Diamond was indicted on July 6 and charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, health care fraud, aiding and abetting, and money laundering.
Dr. Diamond faces up to life in federal prison, if convicted.
Howard’s attorney, Pete Schulte, blasted claims that the death of Mitchell and his client’s current legal trouble are in any way connected with a tweet on Tuesday.
“Media is ruthless. There is no connection between my client Dr. Diamonds’ charges & his step-daughters death,” he wrote.
Schulte added Howard was “devastated” and that his client is hoping a judge will approve a release so that he may be with his wife and family amid the tragedy.
Detectives are investigating Mitchell’s death as a homicide, and CrimeStoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment.