Crime

Murder Charges Dropped Against Doctor

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A former doctor in Georgia will not face murder charges in connection with the deaths of two of her patients following separate treatments.

In 2013, Dr. Nedra Dodds practiced at Opulence Aesthetic Medicine, a medical clinic in Kennesaw, according to WSB. In February of that year, 37-year-old April Jenkins died after a liposuction procedure at the clinic.

Jenkins, with her hands physically restrained, reportedly screamed during the treatment, according to medical board records obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“It’s tearing," Jenkins reportedly screamed. "It’s burning. It’s tearing. It’s burning."

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Dodds' medical staff, unable to give Jenkins more sedatives because she had received the maximum dose, put a towel in her mouth for her to bite down on and to muffle her screams.

“...The screaming, we don’t want any other patients or anybody in the office to hear that,” a member of the doctor’s staff who was present during Jenkins' procedure testified.

At the end of the liposuction procedure, Jenkins made a loud snore, and a few minutes later her heart stopped pumping blood. She was later pronounced dead.

In June 2013, Erica Beaubrun, another patient of Dodds, died. She was recovering at the clinic from a buttocks reduction and the removal of silicone implants when her heart stopped pumping blood. Emergency medical personnel found her in a pool of blood, with no medical doctor in charge and no CPR being performed, according to medical board records.

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Beaubrun did have a fast, organized heart rate, and EMTs performed CPR and transported her to a hospital. But, the 27-year-old died after 90 minutes of unsuccessful efforts to save her life.

Dodds’ license was revoked in 2015 after a review by the Georgia medical board.

“Dr. Dodds’ conduct grossly departed from the level of care every patient should expect from his or her physician and, in two cases, her failures resulted in the death of a patient under her care…” an administrative law judge who reviewed the medical board’s action said in his November 2015 ruling. "...The overwhelming evidence in the present case demonstrates that Dr. Dodds’ continued practice poses an unacceptable risk to the health and welfare of the citizens of this state, for which reason her license to practice medicine in the state of Georgia should be revoked."

In 2016, Dodds and the clinic’s medical director Kevin McCowan were indicted on charges of murder, aggravated battery and theft, according to WSB. But on Jan. 11, all charges were dropped against them.

"I'm extremely, extremely troubled by this case and always have been from the very beginning," Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said.

The lead prosecutor on the case retired and Reynolds had a new team review it, which led to the finding that a criminal case could not be made.

"My obligation is not to be concerned with what I want, what I like, what my opinion is," Reynolds said. "My decision has to be based on facts and law and in the end, I don't think the case can be made. The buck stops with me. It's my decision and it's not an easy decision. It's not a decision that I like and it's a decision that weighs on me."

Jenkins’ sister Audrey has accepted the district attorney’s decision to drop the charges.

"I think the district attorney did what he thought was best for the case to proceed or not to proceed, so I'm not disappointed or angry about that," she said. "If I didn't forgive her, you know, it would eat me alive. So I've got to forgive her."

The Jenkins family does plan to pursue a civil suit against Dobbs.

"I just really want Dr. Dodds to just acknowledge that she did something wrong, that there were errors and there was negligence," Audrey said.

Dodds' attorney is pleased with the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute.

Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB / Photo credit: Nedra Dodds/Twitter via Daily Mail

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