AP NEWS

Medical examiner who traded drugs for sex dies in prison

November 28, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) — A former Georgia medical examiner sentenced to eight years in prison for trading drugs for sex has died behind bars.

Federal prison records show 74-year-old Dr. Joseph Burton of Milton died Nov. 22 at a federal prison in North Carolina.

Burton pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiracy to illegally distribute drugs.

Prosecutors say Burton prescribed about 110,000 doses of opioid painkillers in exchange for sexual favors even though he was a forensic pathologist and didn’t regularly see patients.

Burton’s lawyer said the doctor suffered from a mild vascular neurocognitive disorder after a massive stroke in 2010 that impaired his ability to control his behavior.

Burton handled death investigations from seven metro Atlanta counties, including some of the region’s most high-profile murders.

Prison records didn’t give additional details about Burton’s death.