Oklahoma doctor to stand trial for murder in opioid deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma doctor has been ordered to stand trial for second-degree murder in the deaths of five patients that are blamed on powerful painkillers and other drugs she had prescribed them.

State Attorney General Mike Hunter said a judge found probable Wednesday cause to try 58-year-old Dr. Regan Nichols of Midwest City on the five murder counts.

Nichols has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Nichols prescribed a total of more than 1,800 opioid pills to the patients who died. Prosecutors say three of the five were prescribed a lethal mix of painkillers, muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety drugs.

The deaths occurred in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Nichols was placed on five years of probation in 2015 by the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, prohibiting her from prescribing or dispensing controlled drugs.

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