Christian Hageseth extradited to face charges in patient suicide

Doctor extradited to face charges in patient’s suicide
By Coloradoan staff

Dec. 1, 2007

Dr. Christian Hageseth III of Fort Collins has been extradited to California to face charges that he illegally prescribed Prozac for a Stanford student who later committed suicide.

Hageseth, a psychiatrist, was to enter a plea Friday in San Mateo County, Calif., to one an count of practicing medicine without a license. However, the judge delayed the hearing until Tuesday so that she could consider defense motions filed earlier this week regarding Hageseth’s bond.

Hageseth is expected to enter a not-guilty plea to the charge, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Hageseth was extradited from Nebraska, where in October he was arrested near Sidney during a traffic stop.

Authorities say Hageseth prescribed Prozac for John McKay through the online pharmacy USAnewRX.com. At the time, Hageseth’s restricted medical license did not allow him to give prescriptions.

Two months later, McKay killed himself. He was found with alcohol and the drug in his system.

Hageseth lost his license in Colorado in 1999 due to a relationship that led to his marriage to a former patient, Laurel Burson. However, in 2001, the state Court of Appeals reversed the Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners decision and reinstated Hageseth’s medical license. Still, under the conditions of his reinstated license, he was not allowed to write prescriptions.

Hageseth is being held on $500,000 bond.

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