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Judge orders murder trial for doctor in patient overdose deaths

June 26, 2012 |  3:22 pm

Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, a Rowland Heights, doctor at her preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Saying a Rowland Heights physician "improperly used her prescription pad to cause irreparable harm," a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the doctor to stand trial for murder in the overdose deaths of three patients.

Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, a Rowland Heights physician, is the first doctor accused of murder by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office over the prescribing of drugs.

Tseng failed to heed warnings that "something was terribly wrong and young men were repeatedly overdosing or dying," said Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria.

Tseng, 42, "showed a conscious disregard for human life" and continued to prescribe addictive narcotic painkillers and other drugs even as she knew her patients were dying, prosecutors said during a three-week preliminary hearing.

Tseng has been charged in connection with the deaths of Joey Rovero, 21, an Arizona State University student from San Ramon, Calif.; Vu Nguyen, 28, of Lake Forest; and Steven Ogle, 24, of Palm Desert.

Tseng was arrested March 1 and is being held in lieu of $3-million bail. She is expected to be arraigned July 10.

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 --Hailey Branson-Potts

Photo: Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, a Rowland Heights doctor, at her preliminary hearing Tuesday. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

 

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