Former dentist Tony ProtopappasTony Protopappas came up for parole in December but former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected it. He was ordered released by the Fourth district Court of Appeal in June.
A former Costa Mesa dentist who served more than a quarter of a century in prison for murder after three of his patients died in his dental chair from improper use of anesthesia in the 1980s was paroled from Folsom Prison Tuesday.
Tony Protopappas, who made national headlines in the early 1980s when he was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder, was picked up by his brother at the gates of Folsom Prison shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, said Santa Ana attorney Rich Pfeiffer, Protopappas’s appellate lawyer.
“He was very, very thankful,” Pfeiffer said. “He was crying tears of joy.”
Protopappas was ordered released on parole in June by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in June in a ruling that overturned a decision by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010. Schwarzenegger reversed a decision by a state parole board granting Protopappas’ release because he no longer presents a risk of danger to others.
Pfeiffer then appealed Schwarzenegger’s reversal, insisting that there is no evidence that Protopappas is an unreasonable risk to society, Pfeiffer said Protopappas should have been released from prison last week under the appellate decision, adding that he has filed a writ seeking to hold prosecutors in the state attorney general’s office in contempt of court for not allowing the former dentist to be released on time.
Protopappas is now 65 years old and will NEVER practice dentistry again. But, three patients are dead and will have no life, because of his grossly negligent conduct.
Granted he never intended to kill his victims, but he did, and for that he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Rejects Parole for Deadly Dentist Tony Protopappas
Arnold’s decision, although RIGHT, will probably be overturned by the California Appeals Court.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has rejected parole for a Southern California man who killed three of his dental patients in the 1980s by administering fatal doses of a general anesthetic, the man’s attorney said Thursday.
Schwarzenegger made the decision on Dec. 15 even though a panel of appellate court judges and a state parole board favored release for Tony Protopappas, attorney Rich Pfeiffer told the AP.
In late 1983 and early 1984, Protopappas gave fatal doses of a general anesthetic to Kim Andreassen, 23; Cathryn Jones, 31; and Patricia Craven, 13, in his Costa Mesa office.
Protopappas was using narcotics at the time and wasn’t licensed to administer the drug.
Protopappas, 65, has served more than 25 years of his 15 years-to-life sentence for three counts of second-degree murder. A proposition passed by California voters in 1988 gives the governor the power to reverse parole decisions in murder cases.
The WAPO report about the narcotics is not correct since there was little or no regulation of IV conscious sedation at the time. Protopappas was using a drug cocktail of Valium, Demerol, et al. and exhibited extreme disregard for his patients leading to their death.
Here is the report of findings:protopsppsdI was privileged to serve on the California Dental Association Council on Legislation shortly after the Protopappas conviction and worked on sedation legislation to better protect the people. At the time regulation of these drugs and sedation protocols were scant since the dentistry profession regulated its own – not bad actors like Tony Protopappas who abused the system and his patients.
Should Protopappas be set free on parole after killing three people?
How is this case any different from that of Susan Atkins?