County Attorney’s Wait for Prison is Over for Chris Christensen
Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright’s long wait for a man he vigorously prosecuted for nearly a decade is now over, as Chris Christensen has finally begun his 10 year sentence in the Montana State Prison.
Christensen’s 'pain clinic' was first raided in 2014, and Christensen was sentenced in 2018 for criminal endangerment, distribution of dangerous drugs and two counts of negligent homicide, which were later overturned by the Montana Supreme Court.
“This case finally made it to trial,” began Fulbright. “He was convicted at trial. It's been through the appeal process with the Montana Supreme Court. They've affirmed 20 of the felony convictions and sent it back but he’s been resentenced and now he's starting his prison sentence.”
Fulbright detailed the charges against Christensen.
“We specifically tried him on 11 victims,” he said. “While the Supreme Court did reverse two of the convictions for the homicides, however, those two still were victims in the Criminal Distribution of Dangerous Drugs, so he remains convicted of distributing outside of a medical practice, distributing opiates illegally to all the victims including the two overdose victims who died.”
Fulbright said Christensen was able to convince the judge to postpone his sentence due to the pandemic.
“Judge Marks ruled that he would delay it temporarily in order for Christensen to have time to get his COVID 19 vaccination, and that was done this past Friday, March 26, as the time he had to surrender and start his prison term,” he said.
Fulbright said he has received many messages of support for his long effort to bring Christensen to justice, but specifically from the medical community.
“I find it interesting that many of the messages I'm receiving are from members of the medical profession,” he said. “These are other physicians who were expressing their gratitude. This is not somebody who was, as you might say, doing what everybody does. He broke out on his own, and he has hurt people, and good medical professionals of course don't want that associated with their profession. So we're hearing from them, expressing their gratitude that this day has come.”
Christensen’s ‘pain clinic’ in Florence was first raided some seven years ago.
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