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Courtroom in Courthouse State Historic Park.

Source: Richard Cummins / Getty


An ex-dentist from Texas has been charged with causing a former 4-year-old patient to suffer irreversible brain damage as a result of a routine dental procedure.

According to Click Houston NewsDr. Bethanial Jefferson is accused of intentionally and knowingly by omission causing serious bodily injury to a child by failing to seek and provide adequate medical attention. Court docs accuse Jefferson of using too many sedatives while pulling Nevaeh Hall’s teeth back in 2016.

Jefferson turned herself in after police issued a warrant for her arrest on Tuesday. She was later released on $50,000 bond.

As we reported last year, in January 2016 Hall went to Houston’s Diamond Dental for a decay removal and teeth capping that required some sedation. But during the procedure, Bell suffered from numerous seizures and instead of Jefferson “rais[ing] the alarm, [she decided] to treat [Bell] herself instead of calling 9-1-1.

Jim Moriarty, the family’s attorney told the press in 2016 that the toddler was basically “tortured” and her seizures were a direct result from being given 5 different sedatives that knocked her out for seven hours. Also, her arms and legs were restrained the entire time in a “sometimes controversial” device called a “papoose.”

“In essence what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated. This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period and that didn’t have to happen,” he said. 

While this was happening, both Bell’s mother and father sat in the waiting room.

“Nevaeh Hall is profoundly brain-damaged,” Moriarty recently told Click Houston. “She’s going to be profoundly brain-damaged for the rest of her life.”

These criminal charges comes months after the family settled a civil case with Jefferson this past May—and it’s clear that the family wants justice.

“Her life was definitely taken away from her,” said Hall’s mother Courissa Clark.

“To have a normal kid one day and then that’s taken away all of a sudden, it’s hard. Justice is served. She deserves everything she’s getting, plus some.”

In the end, Hall’s grandmother Clara Clark is just trying to make sense of what happened to her precious grandbaby.

“I want her to understand what she took from us. She took Nevaeh’s life in a sense and she changed her life and she changed everyone else’s life,” she said.

If convicted, Jefferson could face five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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