Former VA Pathologist Linked To Veterans Death Escaped DWI Charge In 2018

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A former pathologist charged with falsifying diagnoses in the deaths of three veterans escaped a DWI charge last year thanks in part to the substance he was abusing.

Dr. Robert Levy, who served as chief of pathology at the Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks, was arrested by Fayetteville police in March 2018 for suspicion of driving under the influence.

While the arresting officer noted Levy’s “speech was very slurred and his balance was swayed," the Fayetteville District Court said the case was dismissed on March 30 after blood samples were negative.

Levy, 53, was ultimately fired April 13.

U.S. attorney Dak Kees said Levy concealed his impairment by taking 2-methyl-2-butanol (2M-2B), a chemical substance that enables a person to achieve a state of intoxication but is not detectable in routine drug and alcohol testing methodology.

Kees made the revelation Tuesday (Aug. 22) alongside an announcement of a 31-count indictment against Levy, which included charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Ingesting between 18 and 27 grams of the substance can induce signs of intoxication and cause unconsciousness only 30 minutes after taking the drug, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

The effects can last into the following day and can be followed by deep, daylong sleeping and a two-week recovery, according to NCBI.

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