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O.C. dentist who killed three patients could be released from prison

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An Orange County dentist linked to the deaths of three people in the 1980s could soon be freed from prison.

Tony Protopappas, 63, of Costa Mesa, was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder in 1984.

The 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana ruled Tuesday that the dentist must be freed unless there is new evidence that he's a danger to society, according to the Daily Pilot.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Associate Justice Raymond Ikola said that after serving more than 25 years of a 15-year-to-life sentence, Protopappas should be granted parole.

In late 1982 and early 1983, Protopappas killed Kim Andreassen, 23, Cathryn Jones, 31, and Patricia Craven, 13, by giving them fatal doses of a general anesthetic. 

In the first years after his conviction, Protopappas continued to distance himself from the crimes and shifted responsibility to others' poor judgment. But in a 2008 parole board hearing, Protopappas took responsibility and explained that he was arrogant and afraid of admitting he didn’t know what he was doing when he gave the three patients anesthesia.

Read more here.

-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot

Comments () | Archives (7)

No parole, in my opinion, he KNEW he wasnt qualified to give anethesia.

This idiot actually worked on my teeth right around the time he was killing his patients. I'll never forget that office visit in 1980. I was really bothered by the fact that he seemed more interested in talking with his attractive assistants than working on my teeth. He was asking them if they were going to go to a party that weekend and kept looking up from his work on me to converse with them. I wanted to yell, "Hey, pay attention!" It was not long after that visit that allegations began to surface of how patients died in the chair. No surprise, he was very inattentive to the job at hand, very unprofessional.

Probably raping them as well. This would not be the first time a caregiver used drugs to incapacitate a woman to rape them. Why would they all be woman? Known to be a womanizer, I wonder how many victims didn't die and didn't know they were victimized.

How can a murderer every repay society when there are three people dead, three young women, people HE killed? As long as they can't come back, why should he? His sentence was 15 years TO LIFE, he's served 25 years. Big deal, they are serving infinate death. And so should he, until the end of his life, in prison.

Due to budget cuts, all prisoners will be paroled unless a review board decides they are a risk. You heard it here first.

I was one of his patients. I was still in highschool. He shot up my mouth and i passed out. I woke after feeling a sharp blow to my chest and i remember making a gasp for air. I was tilted back in the chair so far and i could understand why or what happened. i was so scared and began to cry. he said i was allergic to novacaine. that messed me up for further dental procedures. most dentists would'nt want to work on me. God knows what he may have done to me while i was out! i vote he does'nt get released! I'm wondering if the families of the victims are protesting...does anyone know?

That's ridiculous that he would have accidentally given the patients fatal doses of anesthesia. He should not be granted parole for sure.


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