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Christopher Duntsch

Texas doctor cripples and kills patients; gets life in prison

A former Dallas neurosurgeon was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for maiming numerous patients during surgeries he completed.

Christopher Duntsch was convicted almost a week prior to the sentencing. The 44-year-old was found guilty of first-degree felony injury to an elderly person, as reported by Daily News.

The former neurosurgeon was accused of multiple cases of malpractice. Prosecutors alleged that in some of these cases he improperly placed screws and plates along patients’ spines, left a sponge in another patient and cut a major vein in another. Two patients died while under Duntsch’s care.

Caitlin Martin-Linduff’s mother, Kellie Martin, died after she had back surgery done by Duntsch in 2012. She said that the sentence will do nothing to “bring my mom back and it won’t heal the 34 people that have been affected,” but it’s a start to finding closure from the ordeal.

“It will bring some sense of justice and particularly some sense of closure.”

According to records, Duntsch’s operation resulted in one woman being wheelchair-dependent after he operated on the wrong part of her spine.

The defense argued that the former neurosurgeon was not a criminal, but that he was just bad at his job. A surgeon who testified for the prosecution said that it was akin to letting an amateur loose in the operating room.

Duntsch was accused of maiming four patients and causing the death of at least two between July 2012 and June 2013, but Mary Efurd’s case was the central focus of the trial. Efurd was 74 years old when she went on Duntsch’s operating table in 2012. She lost a third of her blood volume and the use of a leg following her operation. She testified during the trial that she had placed her complete confidence in Duntsch.

“I trusted him. I trusted that he would do what was right.”

[Feature Photo: Dallas PD]