Peter Normann, the Anthem doctor convicted of murder in the deaths of two of his patients, and manslaughter in the death of another, was supposed to be in court this afternoon for his sentencing hearing. The hearing, however, has been delayed, a court spokesman tells New Times.
Normann was convicted in July of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter in the deaths of Ralph Gonzalez, 33, Leslie Ann Ray, 53, and Alicia Santizo Blanco, 41, each patients of Normann's who suffered complications after botched plastic surgery procedures.
Court officials say one of Normann's attorneys had a family emergency, which is why the hearing was delayed. The spokesman says the hearing will not happen today, but will be rescheduled.
Throughout Normann's trial, his attorneys, Vikki Liles and John
Johnson, claimed the deaths were the unfortunate results of known
health risks attached to plastic surgery.
But Deputy County Attorney Jeannette Gallagher fought back, saying the three deaths were caused by Normann's arrogance and careless medical procedures.
Fervently pointing to Normann's medical shortcomings, Gallagher chastised the former doctor's lack of proper staffing -- instead of certified medical assistants, Normann hired a former massage therapist to help with surgeries -- as well as his lack of proper life-monitoring machines for his operating room.
His first victim, Ralph Gonzales, stopped breathing on the operating table in December 2006. While earlier in the trial Normann claimed there was nothing he did during the liposuction procedure that could have caused Gonzales' death, prosecutors pointed to the lethal dose of lidocaine Normann gave him before the procedure and the botched intubation he performed while trying to revive the dying man as the main causes of death.
Santizo was Normann's next patient to die. In April 2007, Santizo went to Normann for a liposuction procedure, a butt augmentation, and a breast implant augmentation. She died of a fat embolism in the middle of the operation. Gallagher claimed that Normann injected the fat straight into a vein, instead of under the skin, which caused the fat to move directly into her lung killing her quickly.
The manslaughter conviction stems from a death that occurred after Normann's medical license was revoked. Teaming up with homeopathic doctor Gary Page -- who also doubled as an unlicensed plastic surgeon -- Normann allowed Page to perform liposuction in his office.
Page performed Ray's liposuction surgery in July 2007. But Page left her alone under Normann's care as she healed in the recovery room hours after her surgery. Walking in to find her unconscious and not breathing, Normann, again, performed a faulty intubation.
Ray died later that night from an adverse reaction to the combination of anesthetics.
Adele Hampton contributed to this post.