Ex-Texas neurosurgeon sentenced to life for maiming patients
- Author: Zachary Reyes Feb 21, 2017,
Feb 21, 2017, 18:53
Prosecutors painted the doctor as amoral and willing to hurt patients for cash, while Duntsch's defense team claimed that he was merely improperly trained to carry out the types of surgeries he attempted. A Dallas County jury took a little more than an hour to sentence him Monday afternoon.
"I could not move my feet and legs, and my thought was something is wrong", she said in court.
Jurors heard from other patients, including one who woke from surgery paralyzed from the neck down, another who passes out from chronic pain and a third who talks in a permanent whisper after she was left with a puncture wound in her throat.
Prior to practicing in Dallas, Duntsch was a doctor in Tennessee. His wife, Kelly Martin, died after a botched surgery by Duntsch.
However, the surgery did not go according to plan, with the anesthesiologist who put Summers under revealing he lost more than 10 times more blood than usual during the operation.
Records state Duntsch removed "bone from an area that was not required by any clinical or anatomical standards, resulting in injury to the vertebral artery".
His trial focused on only one charge of injury to an elderly individual, with victim Mary Efurd testifying that she had trusted Duntsch to perform the 2012 procedure.
Efurd said the verdict was a long time coming.
A surgeon testifying for prosecutors said it was like letting an amateur loose in surgery. "We are so elated about the life sentence".
Duntsch's attorney argued that Duntsch did not act maliciously and that he was just a "bad surgeon".
An email was submitted into evidence at a previous hearing where Dutsch allegedly wrote in a 2011 email to an employee that "I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer", according to The Dallas Morning News.