Former North Huntingdon doctor pleads guilty in 2 patient overdose deaths
A former North Huntingdon doctor pleaded guilty Friday in connection with the 2016 drug overdose deaths of two patients.
Michel Toret, 73, of Jeannette, entered a general plea to two counts of drug delivery resulting in death and two related charges, all felonies. Prosecutors did not make a sentencing recommendation.
Toret was arrested in December 2017 in connection with the fatal overdoses of Heather Dervin, 26, of North Huntingdon, and Glenn Morgan, 30, of Level Green.
He was ruled competent to stand trial earlier this month after his attorney requested an evaluation in March after an apparent decline in the defendant’s mental condition. Attorney Michael DeRiso told Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio on Friday that Toret is under the care of neurologist for “short- and long-term memory issues.”
Investigators allege Toret overprescribed methadone, a drug given to heroin users to wean them from addiction, to Dervin, who died on Sept. 6, 2016. They also allege he overprescribed the painkiller oxymorphone to Morgan, who died on Oct. 10, 2016.
Those prescriptions were picked up and filled locally by Morgan’s family members, who then mailed the pills to him in Kansas, where he was working and later died, according to court papers.
Toret had practiced family medicine more than 40 years and voluntarily surrendered his medical license in November 2016 after authorities began investigating his prescribing practices. His license expired at the end of 2018, according to state records.
A presentence investigation will be completed. Toret could be sentenced this fall.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .