A Long Island Doctor who saw patients in a hotel parking lot, a Dunkin’ Donuts, and an abandoned Radio Shack has been indicted on murder charges, the AP reports. Authorities say George Blatti, 75, prescribed massive amounts of opioids, leading to the deaths of five patients and endangering the lives of six others. “This doctor’s prescription pad was as lethal as any murder weapon,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. Blatti—who, prosecutors say, had a waiver to use a paper pad, allowing him to avoid the electronic prescription system—allegedly prescribed 45,000 pills over four years to the deceased patients, three men and two women ranging in age from 30 to 60, despite each of them showing signs of addiction, per WNBC. All the while, Blatti was “billing insurance and collecting cash,” Singas said, adding “Basically, he’s a serial killer,” according to Patch.
Blatti pleaded not guilty during a Thursday arraignment and was ordered jailed until a March 30 court appearance, per reports. Authorities say they believe that Blatti is the first New York doctor to be charged with second-degree murder under the theory of depraved indifference to human life. A general practitioner since 1976, Blatti was previously arrested in 2019 on charges of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, forgery, and reckless endangerment, and he voluntarily surrendered his medical license, per the New York Times. Those charges are being folded into the new case filed Thursday. Prosecutors say Blatti knew that several patients had died, but he was “undeterred by these deaths, as well as the pleas—and even threats—from patients’ family members demanding he stop fueling their loved ones’ addictions.” (Read more opioids stories.)