By Alex Robinson
Prosecutors are asking a judge to give a doctor 10 to 20 years in prison for illegally prescribing lethal doses to two patients from his Flushing clinic.
Dr. Stan Li, a 60-year-old New Jersey anesthesiologist, was found guilty in July of 198 counts in all, including manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance.
Prosecutors claimed Li repeatedly misled the jury during his 18-week trial and that he never expressed remorse for his actions.
“Most offensively, while (the) defendant claimed to have believed his patients and cared about them, he repeatedly disclaimed responsibility for any overdoses on the grounds that his patients had never overdosed in front of him,” prosecutors said in court documents. “Obviously, [the] defendant was willing to say anything to avoid conviction.”
Li was convicted of manslaughter in the 2011 death of Flushing resident Nicholas Rappold, 21, and the 2009 demise of Long Island resident Joseph Haeg, 37.
Both Rappold and Haeg had each been prescribed more than 500 pills by Li in the weeks leading up to their deaths, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan’s office said.
Rappold was found dead in his car in September 2011 with a half bottle of Xanax on his person that Li had prescribed just three days earlier, according to Brennan.
Prosecutors contended Li had given Rappold both Xanax and oxycodone, a combination the medical examiner determined caused his death.
Li was arrested in November 2011, following Rappold’s death.
Prosecutors charged Li had also endangered the lives of six more of his patients at his weekend pain clinic, Medical Pain Management, which he ran out of a basement in Flushing. He was also found guilty of falsifying business records.
He faced a total of 211 charges and was found not guilty of just 13 of the counts.
“Criminal conduct by a physician in the course of his medical practice strikes at the very heart of both personal and public trust,” prosecutors said. “Recognizing that reality, the court should properly craft the sentences it hands down to reflect the harm [the] defendant caused to his victims and society, and to make it clear that the sale of prescriptions for controlled substances cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”
Li was set to be sentenced by Judge Michael Sonberg Dec. 11.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.