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Riverdale psychiatrist charged with murder, over-prescribing pain meds

Riverdale psychiatrist Narendra Nagareddy was indicted Wednesday on three counts of murder and 59 counts of unauthorized distribution of pain prescriptions.

Nagareddy was charged in the deaths of his former patients Audrey Austin, 29, David Robinson, 49, and Cheryl Pennington 47. All died of overdoses after allegedly going to Nagareddy.

Dubbed “Dr. Death,” Nagareddy, 57, was known across metro Atlanta’s Southside as the go-to physician for prescription drug addicts.

Earlier this year, a Drug Enforcement Administration task force arrested him after three dozen of his patients had died while he was prescribing them controlled substances. At the time, investigators said they confirmed through autopsy reports that 12 patients died of prescription drug overdoses but declined to give more information on the other 24 patients.

District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said the indictment was an extension of the arrests made earlier this year by the Drug Enforcement Administration task force.

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All the deaths listed in the indictment happened in Clayton County. Other Nagareddy patients who died of overdoses lived outside Clayton and it was not immediately know if prosecutors in those counties would also seek criminal charges against Nagareddy.

The indictment said he prescribed for them addictive drugs like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl and Methadone “outside the normal practice” or for non-medical reasons, Lawson said.

Lawson said Nagareddy was arrested at his home in McDonough around 1:30 p.m. and he is being held without bond. Nagareddy will be arraigned on July 7 and his trial is scheduled for Aug. 8.

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