A transgender woman who allegedly injected women with a near-lethal formula of cement, mineral oil, bathroom caulking, and Fix-a-Flat tire sealant in cosmetic buttocks “enhancements” was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 yeas in prison and five years probation early this week.
“My daughter died the most inhuman death,” said Sherri Pitts, mother of alleged victim Shatarka Nuby, at the sentencing hearing, The Washington Post reported. “Eighteen months she suffered not knowing the full [impact] of what [was] put in her body.”
Oneal Ron Morris, an unlicensed cosmetic doctor known by patients as “Duchess,” was arrested and accused of pumping the toxic mix of chemicals and tire sealant into women’s bodies. She reportedly used the same cut-rate cosmetic methods that sickened or killed others to inject her own hips and buttocks, leaving them unnaturally large and misshapen.
This “toxic tush” case has dragged on for years. Morris was charged with manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license in the summer of 2012, and last month she pleaded no contest to both, the Sun Sentinel reported. A judge sentenced Morris to 10 years in prison and five years probation on Monday.
Other alleged victims were in the courtroom, according to CBS Miami, and they told the judge they, too, got sick after Morris injected them with what they believed to be medical-grade silicone.
“You gave us your word that the products you was using was A-1 products. And come to find out they were not,” said Kisha Jones. “Maybe in the beginning, but greed really took over, because you was pocketing the money from every victim.”
Shatarka Nuby, the patient who died, wrote a letter to the Florida health department from a prison in November 2011, complaining that her rear end had hardened and turned black. According to an arrest affidavit, Morris had injected Nuby about 10 times between 2007 and 2011. The first procedure cost $2,000. One witness told investigators that the injections were sealed with cotton balls and superglue.
Four months after Nuby wrote the letter, she was dead. The official cause of death was respiratory failure from “massive systemic silicone migration” from injections to the woman’s buttocks and hips, according to the medical examiner.
Even during sentencing, Morris denied allegations that she intentionally hurt anyone and insisted that she had “never ever, nor would dare ever” inject “any person with any type of unknown substance.”
“I’ve been found guilty by the media and outside sources based on lies,” Morris declared.
Morris’s attorneys have argued that there was no evidence that Fix-a-Flat or superglue was part of the woman’s injection cocktail, and prosecutors in previous court hearings testified that they were unable to determine the contents.
William Lanphear, Morris’s defense attorney, said he disagreed with the prison sentence because his client’s patients had no illusions that they were dealing with a licensed physician.
“All parties share the responsibilities and the blame for their own actions and the role they played,” Lanphear told the Sun Sentinel. “There was an assumption of risk obligation from the victims.”
Morris was previously convicted in Miami-Dade County for practicing without a license, and she served one year in prison.