Murder charges dropped against doctor accused in patients' deaths

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:

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KENNESAW, Ga. - Channel 2's Aaron Diamant was the first to learn that all charges, including murder, have been dropped for a local cosmetic doctor accused in the deaths of two people.

Dr. Nedra Dodds practiced at a now-closed Kennesaw cosmetic surgery clinic called Opulence Aesthetic Medicine.

In February 2013, April Jenkins died after a fat-transfer procedure. In June, Miami businesswoman Erica Beaubrun died after a buttocks reduction with silicone implants being removed.

Charges were also dropped against the clinic's medical director Kevin McCowan. 

Dodds' medical license was revoked in Sept. 2015.

Dodds and McCowan were indicted on charges of murder, aggravated battery and theft. 

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds was convinced he could make a criminal case when he presented it to a grand jury last year. 

"I'm extremely, extremely troubled by this case and always have been from the very beginning," he said.

Red flags went up when the lead prosecutor retired and Reynolds had a team of new ones review it. 

He said they did not believe the case could be made in a criminal situation.

"My obligation is not to be concerned with what I want, what I like, what my opinion is. My decision has to be based on facts and law and in the end, I don't think the case can be made," Reynolds said. 

The DA said it was a tough decision, but one that had to be made.

"The buck stops with me. It's my decision and it's not an easy decision. It's not a decision that I like and it's a decision that weighs on me," Reynold said. 

Jenkins' sister said she accepts the DA's decision. 

"I think the district attorney did what he thought was best for the case to proceed or not to proceed, so I'm not disappointed or angry about that," Audrey Jenkins said. "If I didn't forgive her, you know, it would eat me alive. So I've got to forgive her."

The Jenkins family will still pursue a civil suit against the doctor. 

"I just really want Dr. Dodds to just acknowledge that she did something wrong, that there were errors and there was negligence," Jenkins said.

Dodds' attorneys told Channel 2 Action News in an email that they're pleased with the DA's decision not to prosecute.