AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Riverdale father stunned to learn how son died

Updated 5:02 p.m.: The Georgia Composite Medical Board has voted to suspend Dr. Narendra Nagareddy's medical license. 

“I love you Dad.”

Those were the last words Jim Trimble of RIverdale heard his son Michael say before the elder Trimble headed off to bed.

He woke up sometime during the early hours to let the dog out and noticed his son “laying in a certain position” on the den sofa, where he often slept to relieve his arthritic condition.

The next morning, Trimble found his 42-year-old son dead in the same position. That was March 8, 2014.

Until recently, Trimble believed his son, who had moved in with his parents after his divorce several years earlier, died of a heart attack.

“Whoever it was who did the autopsy...called several months after and said in the report that he died of a heart attack,” Trimble said.

The search warrant also said that between December 2013 and February 2014, Michael filled prescriptions for 270 alprazolam pills - a nine-months supply, according to records from the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Authorities say that at least a dozen other Nagareddy patients died of drug overdoses, and there could be dozens more. They accuse the doctor of prescribing narcotics and other controlled medications for no legitimate medical purpose.

Trimble was stunned when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution told him that the warrant included his son’s overdose death.

“I never heard anything about that, Trimble said. “I wasn’t aware of him having any prescription drug problems. He never discussed it with me. The GBI, and DEA and no other law enforcement people have gotten in touch with me.”

Trimble also was unaware of Dr. Nagareddy.

“I never heard him mention that doctor’s name,” Trimble said. “That doesn’t mean he didn’t have contact with him. We know now that he did.”

Nagareddy was initially charged with one felony charge of illegally distributing or dispensing a controlled substance, but authorities have said more charges may be filed.

Nagareddy voluntarily agreed to a suspension of his medical license effective Feb. 5, according to an interim order issued by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. He was released on $100,000 bond on the condition that he not practice.

Drug overdoses claim a heavy toll in Georgia. Here's a map showing deaths by county.

Read more on prescription drug problems: North Georgia hospital executive arrested in prescription drug bust

Post by guest author Tammy Joyner

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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.