An Alabama physician has been acquitted of charges that he contributed to the overdose death of a former guitarist for rock band 3 Doors Down.
Dr. Richard Snellgrove was indicted on 13 counts of unlawful distribution of drugs, including the opioid fentanyl, and health care fraud tied to Matthew Roberts’ death in 2016.
Jurors found Snellgrove not guilty.
Prosecutors said Snellgrove prescribed drugs to Roberts even though he knew Roberts struggled with addiction, and held that the doctor was “enamored” by Roberts’ celebrity, AL.com reported.
Dennis Knizley, Snellgrove's lawyer, said the physician's actions were reasonable and that prosecutors targeted Snellgrove because Roberts was famous.
Knizley said text messages introduced by the defense at trial showed that Roberts was seeking illegal drugs in addition to medications he got from Snellgrove.
"He was obtaining and abusing street drugs at the same time he was obtaining drugs and to a certain degree deceiving Dr. Snellgrove," Knizley told the Associated Press.
The defense argued that that alone showed Roberts' death couldn't be hung on Snellgrove.
Roberts, 38, was found dead Aug. 20, 2016, in the hallway of a hotel near Milwaukee, where he was to perform a charity concert.
The late musician was a founding member of 3 Doors Down when the rock group began in 1996 in south Mississippi.
He co-authored the band's hit song "Kryptonite," which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2001 for best rock song.
Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose dismissed four of the 13 charges against Snellgrove relating to prescriptions he wrote to Jeremy Ryals, Roberts' roommate and cousin.
Prosecutors had alleged that Snellgrove knew the drugs were really for Roberts, but Knizley said prosecutors never proved those claims.
In a civil lawsuit, Roberts' family is suing Snellgrove, Rite Aid Corp. and others in Alabama state court. That case was stayed pending the outcome of Snellgrove's criminal case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.