From a Florida prison in November 2011, Shatarka Nuby penned a letter to the state’s health department about her cosmetically enhanced buttocks.
Her rear end had hardened and turned black, she wrote. Side effects from the years-old injections left the mother of three feeling sick. And she claimed her surgeon – Oneal Ron Morris – was the same faux cosmetic doctor that police had arrested and accused of pumping a near-lethal formula of cement, mineral oil, bathroom caulking and Fix-a-Flat tire sealant into other women’s bodies.
Her patients called her “Duchess.”
Officials began investigating and interviewed Nuby. But four months later, she was dead.
The official cause of death was respiratory failure from “massive systemic silicone migration” from injections to Nuby’s buttocks and hips, according to the medical examiner.
Morris was charged with manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license in the summer of 2012, and last month pleaded no contest to both, reported the Sun Sentinel.
On Monday, a judge sentenced Morris to 10 years in prison and five years probation for her crimes.
“My daughter died the most inhuman death,” Nuby’s mother, Sherri Pitts, said at the hearing. “Eighteen months she suffered. . . .”
For years in Florida, Morris’s name have been widely reported and eventually made national headlines when photos of the woman surfaced. She reportedly used the same cut-rate cosmetic methods that sickened or killed others to inject her own hips and buttocks, leaving them abnormally large and misshapen.
During sentencing Monday, Morris repeatedly denied allegations that she intentionally hurt anyone and insisted that she had “never ever, nor would dare ever” to inject “any human with any type of unknown substance.”
“I’ve been found guilty by the media and outside sources based on lies,” Morris said.
In statements to the judge, Nuby’s family and friends were emotional and even raised their voices at times, bickering loudly with Morris. They asked for a life sentence.
“There’s no closure. Putting in jail won’t bring her back,” Nuby’s aunt Juanita Nuby told CBS Miami. “This is a court of man, all you can do is put her away and teach her a lesson.”
Other alleged victims were in the courtroom, reported CBS Miami, and told the judge they, too, became sick after Morris injected them with what they believed to be medical-grade silicone.
“You gave us your word that the products you was using was A-1 products. And come to find out they were not,” Kisha Jones said. “Maybe in the beginning, but greed really took over, because you was pocketing the money from every victim.”
According to an arrest affidavit, Morris injected Nuby about 10 times between 2007 and 2011. The first procedure cost US$2000, documents show, and was witnessed by a friend. Nuby’s young daughter witnessed another injection, according to the affidavit, when she peeked behind the bathroom door. The daughter said that Morris had a black suitcase with a needle and plastic wrap. She told investigators that Morris wrapped Nuby’s buttocks with the plastic wrap and poked her “in the butt with a needle”.
The injections, another witness told investigators, were sealed with cotton balls and superglue.
Other family members said Morris would wear scrubs and a stethoscope while performing the procedures.
Morris’s attorneys have previously argued that there was no evidence that Fix-a-Flat or superglue was part of the woman’s injection cocktail, and prosecutors emphasised in previous court hearings that they were never able to determine the contents either.
Morris’s defense attorney, William Lanphear, said he disagreed with the prison sentence because his client’s patients knew they weren’t dealing with a licensed physician.
“All parties share the responsibilities and the blame for their own actions and the role they played,” Lanphear told the Sun Sentinel. “There was an assumption of risk obligation from the victims.”
Morris, who is transgender, will serve her prison sentence in a men’s facility, even though she identifies as a woman.
She was previously convicted in Miami-Dade County for practicing without a license and served one year in prison.
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