Authorities have charged a California plastic surgeon with murder for allegedly refusing to call 911 after a patient on whom he was performing a breast augmentation went into cardiac arrest, reports say.

According to KNSD-TVKGTV-TV, and KSWB-TV, Megan Espinoza, 36, went into cardiac arrest during the cosmetic operation at Divino Surgery Center in Bonita, Calif., in December 2018.

Citing San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas, the outlets report Espinoza’s surgeon, Dr. Carlos Chacon, allegedly waited more than three hours to call 911 and forbade his employees from doing so as well as Espinoza died.

Chacon was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, but on Monday, the district attorney’s office upgraded the charges against the defendant to murder after they say the investigation revealed he allegedly left Espinoza’s operating room to consult with four other patients as she was experiencing a medical emergency, KNSD reports.

“The defendant essentially doubled down on his practices and prevented other people from calling 911 and allowed Ms. Espinoza to essentially suffocate for a three-hour period before emergency personnel were finally summoned,” Darvas said, according to KGTV.

Prosecutors also accused Chacon of using an improperly trained nurse to administer anesthesia to the victim and of allegedly lying to her husband, who called the surgery center to check on her during the procedure.

According to KNSD, Chacon has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

“Despite what the prosecution says about these interviews with individuals, nothing has changed from a medical perspective. It is the same case,” his defense attorney Marc Carlos told the station. “So, now to ramp this up to a murder charge is something I’ve never seen. I’ve been practicing for 30 years in criminal defense, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A judge set Chacon’s bail at $500,000.

His bail stipulations prohibit him from performing surgery in an unaccredited facility and of notifying all patients that he is facing a murder charge. He has also been ordered to use a qualified anesthesiologist, the outlet reports.

Chacon is due back in court June 5.

Original Article