More than two years after graduate Joey Rovero died in his sleep after taking a fatal cocktail of perscription drugs, a doctor has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the 21-year-old's death.
Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, 42, was taken into custody by investigators from the state's Medical Board and was scheduled to make her first appearance at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse Friday.
Along with the death of Rovero, Tseng is being charged with second-degree murder for two others: Vu Nguyen, 29, of Lake Forest and Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert. All three deaths occurred in 2009.
She is also charged with 20 counts of prescribing drugs without a legitimate purpose and one count of prescribing drugs using fraud — all felonies.
If convicted of all the charges, she faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison, the Huffington Post reports.
The medical board alleges that Rovero filled prescriptions written by Tseng for Xanax and Oxycodone after his first and only visit to her on Dec. 9, 2009 on a complaint of anxiety and pain in his low back, hand and wrist, and that he overdosed and died on Dec. 18, 2009.
An autopsy determined that he died from acute intoxication of Oxycodone and Xanax, and that the autopsy also showed alcohol in his body, according to the document.
, Rovero's mother, April, said her son was not a drug addict but simply took the wrong mixture of prescription pills on the wrong night.
"My son did not want to die. He just didn't know how powerful these drugs are," said Rovero. "Joey could be anybody's kid and he should still be alive."
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