Stepdaughter of Accused Pill Mill Doc Found Dead After His Arrest

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Stepdaughter of Accused Pill Mill Doc Found Dead After His Arrest

By Keri Blakinger 07/21/17

Dr. Howard Gregg Diamond's attorney says there is no connection between the teen's death and his client's arrest.

Image: 
Mikayla Mitchell
Mikayla Mitchell Photo via YouTube

The stepdaughter of a Texas doctor accused in seven overdose deaths was found floating dead in a lake Sunday—just a week after the notorious physician’s arrest on federal conspiracy charges

Mikayla Mitchell died of “homicidal violence,” according to the Dallas Police Department, who located her body near the 3000 block of Rochester Street. A family friend told one local TV station that the girl had been tortured and dismembered—though police did not comment publicly on the morbid claim.

Mitchell’s mother is married to Howard Gregg Diamond, the doc arrested recently on a variety of federal charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and money laundering. Feds said the 56-year-old physician at Diamondback Pain and Wellness Center was unnecessarily writing scripts for addictive painkillers, according to the Dallas Morning News

Authorities also blamed the doc for seven deaths in Texas and Oklahoma between 2012 and 2016—and the DEA is probing his possible involvement in another 15 deaths, according to WFAA.

Diamond had already been in jail for four days before the teen’s body was found, and afterward Dallas police declined to answer questions about whether he was under investigation in relation to the girl’s death. 

But Diamond’s attorney quickly went to bat for his client, taking to Twitter to dispel any notions that the teen’s death and Diamond’s jailing could be related.

“Media is ruthless,” Attorney Peter Schulte tweeted. “There is no connection between my client Dr. Diamonds' charges & his step-daughter’s death. Client & family devastated.” The tweet didn’t clarify what reports the lawyer may have been responding to, though some outlets highlighted the doctor’s past criminal history. 

In 2013, Diamond was hit with a restraining order, the Daily Beast reported. Two years later, he was charged with assault causing bodily injury and family violence. The charge was later dismissed. Last year Diamond was collared for disorderly conduct. 

His most serious charges—the new federal accusations—stem from a 2015 complaint by a pharmacist who alleged that a prescription from Diamond had been stamped with a signature block and not signed by hand, according to WFAA.

After his arrest, some of Diamond’s patients spoke up on his behalf. 

“I never had any problem with him,” Mike Tallas, a long-time patient who has walked with a cane ever since an on-the-job injury a decade ago, told the TV station. “He was a good doctor. He did me real good.” 

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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