MI: Two Massachusetts men headed to trial on murder charges in Livingston meningitis deaths

Livingston Daily News –

In all, 753 patients in 20 states contracted meningitis infections after being injected with steroids from NECC. Of those patients, 64 died.

Two men are headed to trial on murder charges after a Livingston County District Court judge bound their cases over to circuit court.

Barry Cadden and Glenn Chin were each charged with 11 counts of second-degree murder in December of 2018 by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

The Massachusetts men produced and distributed tainted steroids that causes a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012, according to prosecutors.

In all, 753 patients in 20 states contracted meningitis infections after being injected with steroids from NECC, according to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Of those patients, 64 died, many of them from Michigan, where 217 cases were linked to Michigan Pain Specialists located in Genoa Township.

On Wednesday Livingston County District Court Judge Shauna Murphy bound both cases over to the Livingston County Court.

“The court finds the actions of defendant Chin and defendant Cadden caused the deaths of 11 victims,” she said.

Cadden and Chin are charged in connection with the deaths of Livingston County residents Donna Kruzich; Paula Brent; Lyn Laperriere; Sally Roe; Mary Plettl; Gayle Gibson; Patricia Malafouris; Emma Todd; Jennie Barth; Ruth Madouse and Karina Baxter.

“By virtue of their training as pharmacists the defendants were well aware of the legal consequences for violating sterility rules in their facility and shipping contaminated products for patient injection,” Murphy said.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office brought charges against the two men after their federal cases concluded.

In June of 2017, Cadden was sentenced to nine years in federal prison after being convicted on federal racketeering and fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. He was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder. Chin was sentenced in January 2018 to eight years in federal prison in the same Massachusetts court. He was also acquitted of second-degree murder charges.

Seven days of testimony

Murphy’s decision follows testimony by 16 witnesses over seven days of testimony earlier this year.

Steven Haynes Jr., a technician at the compounding center, testified on Feb. 16 there was an instance where “an entire batch of methylprednisolone that was produced, filled into vials and sent out the same day.”

Haynes said quality control relaxed as production increased.

The number of drugs produced “went from tens to hundreds to thousands,” he said.

The company was supposed to adhere to a seven-day waiting period for sterility and a 14-day waiting period for potencyto ensure thedrugs were safe before being distributed.

Those waiting times weren’t always followed, Haynes said.

He said he brought his concerns to Chin and asked him what would happen if something was wrong with the drugs.

Haynes said Chin told him, “That’s why we have lawyers.”

Both men are being held in the Livingston County Jail. They face up to life in prison if convicted as charged.

Future court dates were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

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