A California Appeals Court overturned the decision to deny parole to Tony Protopappas, a former dentist, this month.
Protopappas was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder 26 years ago for killing three people in his dentist’s chair during the early 1980s. In each case, he gave lethal doses of a general anesthetic and ignored numerous warning signs that their lives were in jeopardy. He was sentenced to 15 years to life and has been in prison ever since.
Protopappas has served 26 years of his sentence for the death of Kim Andreassen, 23, Cathryn Jones, 31, and Patricia Craven, 13, who all died from fatal overdoses of general anesthetic. [Source]
Protopappas was convicted after attorneys proved that he administered “anesthesia in high doses he knew were unsafe and then deliberately delay[ed] calling paramedics when complications arose.” [Source]
In 1992, a California jury awarded $1.6 million to several of his former patients. The case took over a decade to resolve because the dental firm owned by Protopappas and the insurance company that insured him went bankrupt. The claim was eventually paid by the California Insurance Guaranty Association. [Source]
The parole board made the decision after determining Protopappas was no longer a threat to society.