A former Texas dentist whose botched surgery left a 4-year-old girl with irreversible brain damage has been acquitted with just five years of probation, even though prosecutors had asked for a 20-year sentence. .
Seven years ago, when the oxygen levels at Nevaeh Hall dropped slightly, Bethaniel Jefferson failed to call 911 for five hours, leaving the now 11-year-old girl unable to see or speak while requiring 24-hour care. I was left unable to walk or eat.
Her attorney, John Kobach, was quick to acknowledge that Jefferson, who was sentenced Wednesday in Houston on a charge of reckless injury to a child by omission, was “messed up.”
Prosecutors had asked for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but the jury initially sentenced her to 10 years. According to KHOU11.
But he also recommended community supervision, which led the judge on Thursday to sentence Jefferson to just five years of probation. The Houston Chronicle said:.
“I don’t believe justice was served,” Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtell told the newspaper.
“She failed for five hours… She was more concerned about herself than that girl’s life.”
Nevaeh’s grandmother, Clara Clarke, also called the sentence “grossly unfair”.
“Justice was not served,” she said. he told Fox 26.said that Jefferson “should have received a prison sentence.”
Jefferson is “free to walk around, live his life and go about his business,” Clark said. “Nevaeh will not be able to go to prom, walk down the aisle, get married, and enjoy birthdays where she can run around and play, which is what kids are supposed to do.”
The court heard how the girl, who was supposed to have a routine procedure for a cavity, was left sedated for hours despite having at least three seizures.
Jefferson’s dental license was revoked just months after the botched surgery in January 2016.
Hall’s family also won a $95.5 million civil lawsuit settlement last year, but the plaintiff’s attorney said Jefferson did not have the funds to pay damages.
Kobach, the former dentist’s lawyer, broke down in court and begged to keep his client out of jail, the Chronicle reported.
“She screwed up, but sending her to prison is too much,” he said.
“If she intends to harm the community, that’s what she does as a dentist, and she has already lost her license.”