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Former IU Health doctor found not guilty of reckless homicide by overprescribing painkillers

Posted at 4:33 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 18:38:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A former IU Health doctor accused of over-prescribing opioids was found not guilty by a Marion County jury Monday.

Dr. John K. Sturman was originally charged in August 2015 with three counts of reckless homicide and 16 counts of issuing invalid prescription drugs for allegedly overprescribing pain medication to patients – some of whom later overdosed and died.

Sturman operated a clinic at Indiana University Hospital until 2012, when he lost his admitting privileges for failing to properly document patient visits.

Investigators alleged that from 2008-2012, Sturman had displayed a pattern of prescribing large amounts of pain medication "outside the usual course of medical care."

A Marion County jury dismissed the charges against Sturman in December 2015, but Prosecutor Terry Curry appealed that decision. His appeal was granted in July 2016 and charges were again filed against Sturman.

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On Monday, following a six-day trial, Sturman was found not guilty on all counts against him.

After his tenure at IU Health, Sturman worked as the chief of pain management for the VA Illiana Health Care System. The health network's website does not currently list him on staff.