ATLANTA – The personal doctor of Chris Benoit, the pro wrestler who killed his wife and son and then committed suicide in June, prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers to another pro wrestler who died last year.

Dr. Phil Astin, who faces federal charges of overprescribing medication to two patients other than Benoit, wrote four prescriptions for painkillers within a 25-day period in March 2005 for Michael Durham, according to pharmacy records Durham’s widow gave to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Durham wrestled under the stage name “Johnny Grunge.”

Durham’s prescriptions included two for 60 350-milligram Soma pills, a powerful muscle relaxer, over a four-day period.

Overall, Astin’s signature was on 32 of the final 36 prescriptions Durham received over the last year of his life, including the final one given to him the day before his death on Feb. 16, 2006 at age 40, the pharmacy records show. All 120 of those 350-milligram Soma pills were missing the next day when authorities discovered Durham’s body, Tyrone police officials have said.

Durham’s autopsy report attributed the official causes of death to blockage of vessels supplying blood to the heart, but cited toxic levels of Soma, and the painkiller hydrocodone as contributing factors.

Authorities began investigating Astin after the deaths of Benoit and his family. Prosecutors have said Benoit, 40, strangled his wife with a cord, used a choke hold to strangle his 7-year-old son, placed Bibles next to the bodies and hanged himself on a piece of exercise equipment in their home the weekend of June 22.

Testosterone was discovered at Benoit’s Fayetteville home. Astin said he had been supplying Benoit with the steroids and was soon indicted by federal authorities on seven counts of overprescribing to two people, although Benoit was not one of them.

The revelations about Durham led a medical specialist to question Astin’s actions.

“You’ve got a lot of meds in a short period of time,” said Dr. Barry Straus of the North Georgia Pain Clinic and a case reviewer for the state medical board. “The doses aren’t necessarily odd – it’s just the jump-start. If he had worked up to those levels, it’s no big deal.”


I am running the 2018 London Marathon to raise money for Livability UK in memory of my dad. If you can I'd appreciate any donation you can spare.
News Reporter
Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.

3 thoughts on “Benoit’s Doctor Named In Another Wrestler Death

  1. Handful of authors can make their own point as effectively as you have here. I agree with most of exactly what you have created and I also was compelled into pondering a lot all through this specific compiling. Truly marvelous job!

  2. How you were able to change an educational article into a unique piece of writing is actually beyond me, but you did it successfully. I am actually impressed along with your job. I personally agree on the majority of this info.

  3. This post is extremely informative. That really incited interest in me on several points. I agree with your main opinions here. Your own content has ignited my own mind into pondering harder. Many thanks.

Comments are closed.