Schwarzenegger rejects parole for dentist who killed 3 patients
A Costa Mesa dentist who killed three patients in his chair from 1983 to 1984 has lost his bid for freedom after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected his parole application.
Schwarzenegger this month overturned the parole board's recommendation to free Tony Protopappas, 65, who has served more than 25 years of his 15-years-to-life sentence on three second-degree murder convictions.
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. Protopappas was using narcotics heavily at the time and wasn't licensed to administer the drug, prosecutors said.
The governor's decision wasn't a surprise to Protopappas' attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, who earlier this year predicted Schwarzenegger's action if Protopappas was granted parole.
"The only thing that has changed since the court's last opinion is Tony got a much more favorable psychological evaluation and has continued to take positive steps in his journey through rehabilitation," Pfeiffer wrote in an e-mail.
-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot / Times Community News