SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Utah pain doctor on drug charges but sent the case back to a federal judge to clarify his sentence.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected arguments from 65-year-old Dewey MacKay of Brigham City that there wasn't enough evidence to show he was responsible for the 2006 death of a patient and that U.S. District Judge Dee Benson should not have allowed certain evidence testimony to be presented.
MacKay was convicted in 2011 on 40 of 86 felony charges related to illegal drug distribution.
Benson sentenced MacKay to 20 years in prison, but the appeals court ruled Tuesday that it's unclear if Benson meant to give MacKay 20 years for each charge and asked the court to clarify.
In MacKay's five-week trial, the jury learned MacKay was seeing 100 or more patients a day at times and filling prescriptions for no valid medical reasons.
The jury did acquit the former orthopedic surgeon on 46 counts, but two of the 40 counts it convicted him on were tied to the 2006 overdose death of his patient, Ogden resident David Wirick, 55, an engineer at ATK Thiokol.