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Local News

Sentencing Postponed Again for Former Santa Barbara Doctor Who Pleaded Guilty to Overprescribing

The sentencing for a former Santa Barbara doctor who admitted overprescribing powerful painkillers to patients has been delayed yet again and is scheduled for this fall.

Julio Diaz, who formerly operated a medical practice on Milpas Street, pleaded guilty to federal charges of overprescribing that led to 11 patient deaths earlier this year, and was expected to be sentenced Thursday.

A federal affidavit accused Diaz of prescribing “profound” doses of drugs, including strong painkillers such as OxyContin, Fentanyl and Dilaudid.

That sentencing was continued to Oct. 29 at the request of Diaz's attorney, according to federal prosecutor Ann Wolf.

Diaz has new counsel, attorney Robison Harley Jr., who requested additional time.

Wolf, of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, said that granting a continuance and for how long is up to the judge's discretion.

Two families who lost loved ones to prescription drug overdose have settled with local pharmacies and their pharmacists that filled Diaz's prescriptions in civil court.

When the sentencing does occur, statements may include family members of victims who choose to take the stand in the Central District Court in Santa Ana.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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