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Texas neurosurgeon sentenced to life for maiming patients

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DALLAS (AP) — A jury has sentenced a former neurosurgeon to life in prison for maiming patients who had turned to him for surgery to resolve debilitating injuries.

The decision came Monday, almost a week after the Dallas County jury convicted 44-year-old Christopher Dunstch of first-degree felony injury to an elderly person.

Prosecutors alleged numerous cases of malpractice against the former Plano physician, including that he improperly placed screws and plates along patients’ spines, left a sponge in another patient and cut a major vein in another.

Records show he operated on the wrong part of a patient’s spine and left one woman wheelchair-dependent. Two patients died.

A surgeon testifying for prosecutors said it was like letting an amateur loose in surgery.

Dunstch’s attorneys argued he wasn’t a criminal, just a lousy surgeon.