Tennessee physician, Dr. Darrel Rinehart, will plead guilty to "distributing a controlled substance" and having a hand in the fatalities of five of his patients over a ten-month period from March 2015 to January 2016, according to his attorney, James Simmons, who filed a motion for a hearing in December on his behalf.
The Tennessee doctor, 64, who ran a practice in Columbia for many years and was ultimately indicted on 19 counts of distribution of a control substance in March 2019.
State health records showed at least five of Rinehart’s patients suffered fatal overdoses that were partially or wholly caused by drugs he prescribed. At least six more Rinehart patients had nonfatal overdoses and one of those patients overdosed three times.
Rinehart worked for at least two decades at Core Physicians, which is also known in the community as Family Health Group, a clinic in Columbia, Tennessee
Rinehart was also criminally investigated by police and prosecutors in Maury County, who used an informant to capture the undercover video footage from inside a room of Rinehart’s clinic
Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper said his office intended to charge Rinehart with five counts of criminal homicide but instead gave the case to prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office who became interested in Rinehart after reading about him in a media review.