Wife of Slipknot Bassist Blames Doctor For Overdose Death

By McCarton Ackerman 04/24/14

Daniel Baldi could face 18 years in prison if convicted for his role in Paul Gray's death, as well as the deaths of several others.

Slipknot in 2003. Shutterstock

The wife of late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has testified in court that his final days were a blur of drug abuse and that neither his doctor nor bandmates ever stepped in to intervene.

After relapsing into drug addiction in 2008, Gray died of an overdose at a hotel in May 2010. He was just 38 years old. His wife, Brenna Gray, was testifying in the trial of his doctor, Daniel Baldi, who is currently facing nine counts of involuntary manslaughter that include the death of the Slipknot bassist. Prosecutors are arguing that his reckless prescription habits were the direct cause of the death, charges Baldi denies.

Brenna alleged that Baldi continued to provide Paul with a prescription for Xanax despite knowledge that he had a history of abusing it. She also told Baldi that she had found hypodermic needles in their bathroom and shared photos of her husband passed out, but he wouldn’t take his drug abuse seriously.

"I just knew it was his drug of choice, that he'd struggled with it,” she said. "I just wasn't really sure why he was on it, why he needed it along with the medication he was taking for addiction.”

She eventually staged an intervention with other family members, but he left their house and checked into a nearby hotel before dying two days later. Brenna said she never called 911 because she was afraid of being arrested for the drugs that Paul had kept at the house, as well as child services removing their kids from the home. She also claimed to have reached out to his bandmates for the intervention, but that none of them showed up despite the fact that “one was playing golf two minutes away from our house…they told me it was my problem.”

Baldi’s attorney, Guy Cook, got Brenna to admit during her testimony that she was aware the doctor had been attempting to reduce his Xanax intake. He also argued that only one of the pill bottles found in Paul’s hotel room was prescribed by Baldi and that it was for Suboxone, a medication used to treat addiction. Toxicology reports also showed that the Slipknot bassist had overdosed on the painkillers fentanyl and morphine, which were never prescribed by Baldi.

If convicted on all charges, Baldi could face up to 18 years in prison.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.