Status hearing scheduled for Dracut doctor whose opioid prescriptions allegedly led to patient’s death

New defense attorney says Miron was a 'good doctor'

Retired doctor Richard Miron sits with his daughter, Linda, before his arraignment on Dec. 20, 2018 in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

WOBURN — A status hearing has been scheduled for next month in the case of a retired Dracut doctor who allegedly illegally prescribed opioids that resulted in an at-risk patient’s death.

The hearing in the case of Dr. Richard Miron will be held on Sept. 23 in courtroom 430 at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. According to the Clerk’s Office, it is set for 9 a.m. that day, but it may not begin at exactly that time.

Miron on Dec. 20, 2018 was released on personal recognizance in Middlesex Superior Court after pleading not guilty at an arraignment before Assistant Clerk Magistrate Michelle Goldman. He was 76 at the time of the arraignment.

The doctor was indicted earlier that month by a Middlesex County grand jury on 23 counts of illegal prescribing of controlled substances, 23 counts of filing false Medicaid claims, and one count of involuntary manslaughter. Miron had practiced internal medicine in Dracut until he entered into a voluntary agreement this month not to practice with the Board of Registration in Medicine, according to a statement from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

It was the first time in Massachusetts that a doctor was indicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly illegally prescribing opioids.

“I’m of the opinion that this particular indictment — involuntary manslaughter — was inappropriately returned by the grand jury against Dr. Miron,” said Boston defense attorney Stephen Weymouth, who was appointed by the court to represent Miron. “He was a good doctor who provided good care to people and especially this particular person, who had been a patient of his for a large number of years.”

The AG’s Office alleges Miron was responsible for the death of his patient, Michelle Craib, 50, on March 17, 2016. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the woman’s death was caused by acute intoxication from the combined effects of fentanyl, morphine, codeine and butalbital, all prescribed by Miron.

Weymouth said he appeared in court Tuesday in the case and filed a motion asking that third parties be ordered to turn over evidence to him.

“I’ve received evidence that the deceased in this case was under the care of another doctor, or doctors, and I’m seeking information from those providers,” Weymouth said Wednesday over the phone. “At this point, there might have been others.”

The AG’s Office on the day of Miron’s arraignment released Craib’s identity in a statement of the case. Craib was found dead in her apartment in Lowell, according to the statement. Responders found two fentanyl patches attached to her abdomen and police found many prescription bottles at the scene, including morphine, oxycodone, and Fioricet with codeine, all prescribed by Miron.

“The post-mortem toxicology is entirely consistent with the opioids prescribed by Dr. Miron,” the statement read.

Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Goldstein and Steven Hoffman are representing the state in the case.