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Orange County Bar Association

The Deadly Dentist

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

Former Orange County dentist Tony Protopappas convicted of second-degree murder in 1984 has been granted parole by an appellate court. He was convicted for the deaths of three women he had as patients at his Costa Mesa dentistry office. They died from a high dosage of anesthesia. His attorney acknowledges that there are some possible road blocks: the Attorney General office could appeal the decision or Governor Schwarzenegger could change the ruling. His attorney Richard Pfeiffer had told the court that the deaths were when Protopappas was a dentist and that he would no longer be practicing dentistry or administering anesthesia therefore he was not a threat to society. Deputy Attorney General Amy M. Roebuck argued that Protopappas’ “drug and alcohol use contributed to his negligence” and that he had not fully accepted responsibility for the deaths. Mr. Protopappas served 25 years of a life sentence.

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