Coalinga dentist accused in death could face jail

FRESNO, Calif.

Coroners say 35-year-old Patrick Clare died in his father's dentist chair.

Action News broke the story of the investigation into Dr. Allen Clare last year. Coalinga police blamed the father for the son's death but prosecutors originally charged Dr. Clare with a felony business code violation.

He pleaded guilty and was set to receive probation as punishment.

But after reading a coroner's report a judge decided that wasn't enough. The report said Patrick Clare had 575 nanograms of morphine in his system when he died.

"Toxic level is 200 nanograms, so there was an excessive amount in there. I still hold the position that the morphine never should've been injected to begin with," Coalinga Police Chief Cal Minor said.

Investigators say Dr. Clare never used morphine on any other patient and ordered the drug about four months before his son's death. Dr. Clare gave up his license to practice dentistry and could face even more serious charges at his next hearing.

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