Christopher Duntsch faces multiple assault charges for “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” botching spinal surgeries
Prosecutors say a 2011 email hints at Texas neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch's chilling plans before he "intentionally, knowingly and recklessly" botched spinal surgeries that left one woman dead and injured four others.
"I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer," Duntsch, 44, allegedly wrote in an email to an employee on Dec. 11, 2011, according to The Dallas Morning News .
The email was submitted as evidence at a hearing on Friday to reduce Duntsch's $600,000 bail. The doctor was arrested last month on multiple assault charges.
Dallas police said in a search warrant affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News that Duntsch is also suspected of botching at least 10 other people's spinal surgeries in Plano and Dallas from November 2011 through June 2013.
Duntsch "knowingly takes actions that place the patients' lives at risk," police wrote, citing one patient who hemorrhaged so badly that she died. In another case, the doctor allegedly left a surgical sponge inside a man's body.
The 44-year-old's medical license was revoked back in December 2013 after the Texas Medical Board found that he had a pattern of failing to follow proper medical procedures.
Prosecutors insisted that Duntsch was a flight risk and said that he could even harm others by trying to apply again for a medical license.
"All he has here are his medical peers that have shunned him and the media that is following him around and a whole bunch of victims that he has hurt and his civil and criminal cases," said prosecutor Michelle Shughart. "He has every reason to flee the state."
She went on to call on Duntsch's father to testify on whether his son was attempting to get his license reinstated. "I guess that's probably true," Donald Duntsch said. "I knew that was an intention of his at some point, in light of what happened, that he would be able to practice again as a doctor."
Duntsch's attorney argued that his client had no money to flee, adding that Duntsch had made honest mistakes as a doctor.
"He screwed it up," Robbie McClung said. "He hurt people he was trying to help."
Ultimately, the judge agreed with prosecutors, refusing to reduce Duntsch's bail.
His alleged victims sighed with relief after the ruling. "He needs to be where he is right now until he gets to trial," said Lee Passmore, 40, a former patient of Duntsch's who suffered extreme pain and complications from surgery performed by the doctor.
Added Philip Mayfield, 45, who woke up paralyzed from the neck down after having surgery with Duntsch in 2013: "I am very well pleased that he will remain in jail and that justice will eventually be served for the crimes that he has committed."
Duntsch has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and has previously said that "99 percent of everything that has been said about me is completely false."
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