Surgeon Charged with Felony Homicide After Wife's Heart Stops Beating on Operating Table


An arrest has been made nearly seven months after the death of a Florida surgeon’s wife, a turn that leaves her husband facing a felony homicide charge.

Gulf Breeze plastic surgeon Dr. Ben Brown turned himself in to authorities Monday just days after an arrest warrant was signed by a judge, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

The 41-year-old doctor is charged with second-degree felony homicide — manslaughter by culpable negligence — for his alleged role in the death of his 33-year-old wife, Hillary Brown.

In November, she was undergoing multiple operations under her husband’s care when the situation took a deadly turn that would leave her dead a week later.

According to the News Journal, an investigation by the Florida Health Department made some troubling findings.

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Prior to the surgery, Hillary Brown prepared and administered her own anesthetics despite not being a licensed medical professional.

The report found she then ingested an array of pills, a dosing left off her husband’s documentation of the procedure.

Should Brown be held liable for his wife’s death?

The state’s report found Hillary showed signs of lidocaine toxicity while the surgery was underway. Despite this, her husband continued to administer the substance.

Her vision soon became blurred and she began “seeing orange,” it said.

Hillary became unresponsive in the surgical chair. Instead of contacting help, Ben Brown waited, the report said.

Only after 10 to 20 minutes did he call 911 and begin performing CPR on his wife, according to the report. Hillary, whose heart had already stopped in the operation room, was put into a coma.

Her father said he noticed seemingly strange behavior from her husband while she was in a coma.

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“He sent me a text that we need to make sure that her time of death is before the 30th because the insurance benefits go away and my grandkids wouldn’t get some of the life insurance,” Marty Ellington said, according to the News Journal.

“My daughter’s laying in here,” he continued, “and we keep being hopeful that she’s going to pull through but all he was worried about was the time of death being before the 30th and that he was going to sell everything and file bankruptcy and go buy a new vehicle before his credit tanked.”

Doctors took Hillary Brown off life support a week after the initial incident. Ellington said Ben Brown soon began selling off her belongings.

Her official cause of death was declared as “complications following lidocaine toxicity.”

The health department’s report asserted Hillary Brown did not die from an overdose of the “self-administered” substances and put much of the blame on Ben.

“In conclusion,” the report said, “witness interviews all corroborated that when the victim began to show signs of overdose, Brown continued injecting unknown amounts of lidocaine and did not stop until the victim went into a seizure and cardiac arrest.

“When this occurred, Brown delayed the reporting of the incident to 911 and used his status as a doctor to do so, when it is required by law.”

Brown was released from the Santa Rosa County Jail after posting a $50,000 bond.

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The Western Journal

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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
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