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    Doctor Kostenko, charged in oxycodone deaths, backs out of plea deal

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    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) – A Raleigh County doctor accused of illegally distributing painkillers to three patients who later died has backed out of a plea deal.

    News outlets report Dr. Michael Kostenko was expected to enter into a deal with prosecutors on Monday and plead guilty to one count of distribution. Instead, Kostenko pleaded not guilty.

    Kostenko, who ran Coal Country Clinic in Daniels, faces multiple counts of distribution charges, including three counts of distributing oxycodone that resulted in the deaths of three patients.

    His license was initially suspended last March after the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine found probable cause of unprofessional and unethical conduct. The board later voted to revoke his license.

    Kostenko remains in jail. His trial is set for April 24.

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