Christopher Duntsch mugshot

Dr. Death: Prosecutor compares surgeon who mutilated patients to a serial killer

A former Dallas neurosurgeon will be spend the rest of life behind bars after intentionally maiming a patient. A Dallas County jury sentenced him to life in prison on Monday after being found guilty earlier this year of severely injuring an elderly woman.

Dallas News reports that Christopher Duntsch, 45, who once practiced medicine at hospitals in both Dallas and Collin counties, caused four patients to become crippled for life and caused the deaths of two other patients. In July 2015, he was arrested and charged with five counts of aggravated assault.

In February, Duntsch was convicted of injury to an elderly individual. Mary Efurd, 74, underwent leg surgery in 2012, under Duntsch’s care. She ended up losing full use of both legs and a third of her blood, but she luckily survived. Although Dunstch is accused of maiming five other people, it was Efurd that the prosecution chose to focus on.

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

Dr. Robert Henderson, who treated Efurd after her botched surgery, said the Duntsch did nothing at all correctly. Henderson found implants in Efurd’s muscles instead of the bone, an amputated nerve root, and a drilled screw into her spinal cavity.

“It’s as egregious as you can imagine,” Henderson said.

Along with Efurd, jurors heard from numerous patients who all once trusted Dunstch, but ended up with limps, braces, nerve braces, and chronic pain. One patient, Jeff Cheney, woke up paralyzed from the neck down. Another patient, Jackie Troy, almost died from an infection when Dunstch left her with puncture wounds in her throat. She now talks with a permanent whisper.

Others weren’t so lucky. A school teacher, Kellie Martin, died from massive blood loss after back surgery. Another patient, Floella Brown, also passed after back surgery. Both instances were written off as medical mistakes, but prosecutors argued that Dunstch had plenty of training and the “mistakes” could have been avoided.

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Michelle Shughart told Crime Watch Daily’s host, Chris Hannen, that Duntsch, nicknamed Dr. Death, was essentially nothing more than a budding serial killer.

“He was acting as a serial killer.”

Although Dr. Death was only convicted for his participation Efurd’s botched surgery, several family members of the other victims said they were satisfied with the outcome and sentencing.

[Feature Photo: Dallas County Jail]