HOUSTON – A former Spring dentist accused of causing a child to suffer brain damage during a procedure has turned herself in to the Montgomery County Jail after being charged Monday in connection with the case.
Bethaniel Jefferson was charged with injury to a child in connection with the 2016 incident involving 4-year-old Nevaeh Hall, according to a court clerk.
A judge issued a warrant Tuesday for Jefferson's arrest. She was released on $50,000 bond.
Nevaeh’s mother said she went to Jefferson to have a tooth pulled. She said that when Nevaeh was given anesthesia, she suffered a seizure and severe brain damage.
Court documents in the civil case say Jefferson administered too many sedatives and other drugs that caused Nevaeh Hall to fall into respiratory distress.
That distress reduced oxygen levels to her brain.
Nevaeh was confined to a wheelchair.
The attorney who represented Nevaeh's family in the civil lawsuit against Jefferson said Monday's indictment won't be able to repair the injury inflicted upon the little girl.
"Nevaeh Hall is profoundly brain damaged," attorney Jim Moriarty said. "She's going to be profoundly brain damaged for the rest of her life."
No one answered at Jefferson's home in Spring. She's now facing an injury to a child charge -- a first-degree felony. Neighbors say she's rarely seen these days.
"I've got nothing against he. I feel sorry for her," neighbor Walter Hutchins said. "But of course, I feel sorrier for the kids, what took place there."
Monday's indictment not only has Jefferson facing a felony -- Nevaeh's family's attorney believes it sends a message to physicians across the country.
"It's going to tell them, 'You are going to be held accountable if you kill or maim our children,'" Moriarty said.
Nevaeh Hall’s family said they’re relieved Jefferson was facing criminal charges and hoped she would realize how she impacted their lives.
“To have a normal kid one day and then that’s taken away all of a sudden, it’s hard,” said mother Courissa Clark “Justice is served. She deserves everything she’s getting, plus some."
“Her (Nevaeh's) life was definitely taken away from her,” Courissa Clark said.
With criminal charges, her family wants justice.
“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,” grandmother Clara Clark said.
The family urged other parents to do research and know their rights as a parent before visiting any doctor's office.
In May, Nevaeh's family reached an undisclosed settlement in the civil case connected to the incident.