Dead Wrestler's Doctor Surrenders To Feds - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dead Wrestler's Doctor Surrenders To Feds

(AP) The personal doctor of pro wrestler Chris Benoit turned himself in Monday to face a federal charge in connection with a federal drug probe, the doctor's attorney said.

Attorney Manny Arora said Dr. Phil Astin will face a single charge involving improperly prescribing medication.

Astin was expected to appear later in the day at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Walker. Often in the federal system, charges are disclosed at the first court appearance.

Arora had said Astin would come to the federal courthouse on his own, and said he wanted his client to be at the courthouse in case charges were filed.

Federal drug agents have taken over the probe into whether Astin improperly prescribed testosterone and other drugs to Benoit before he killed his wife and son and committed suicide in his suburban Atlanta home last month. State prosecutors and sheriff's officials are overseeing the death investigation.

Meanwhile, the state prosecutor in the Benoit investigation said Monday he currently has no plans to file criminal charges against anyone in the case.

"From our standpoint, I have no reason to believe there will be any criminal charges at the current time," Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told the AP. "What the federal government is going to do, it will be up to them."

Investigators have conducted two raids at Astin's west Georgia office since last week. Among other things, investigators were looking for Benoit's medical records to see whether he had been prescribed steroids and, if so, whether that prescription was appropriate, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because records in the case remain sealed.

Astin prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past but has not said what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the start of the weekend when the killings occurred.

"It would be our belief and understanding that the federal authorities were looking for patient files and the computers that the files may be contained in to determine if prescriptions were written improperly," Arora said.

Ballard said federal authorities already were involved in similar type investigations.

"Because the feds are involved, you don't have the venue issues that we would have if we were to do it," Ballard said of the drug probe.

Meanwhile, toxicology tests on Benoit's body have not yet been completed, Ballard said.

Anabolic steroids were found in Benoit's home, leading officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the killings, which took place two weekends ago. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as "roid rage."

"We're still asking questions and searching for answers with regard to the death so we can tie up loose ends," Ballard said. "It just seems irresponsible not to pursue any suggestion that we were incorrect about it being a murder-suicide. But all of the evidence up to now points to us being correct."

Ballard said finding a motive in the case remains elusive.

"I think it will always be undetermined as to 'Why?"' Ballard said. "I think it's because there can't be any satisfactory reason why you kill a 7-year-old."

Authorities have said Benoit strangled his wife and 7-year-old son, placing Bibles next to their bodies, before hanging himself on the cable of a weight-machine in his home
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