What to Know
- Woman accused of performing fatal butt enhancement procedure on woman in 2015 was extradited from London to face homicide charges, DA said
- Donna Francis is charged with criminally negligent homicide and unauthorized practice of a professional in death of Maryland woman, DA said
- Francis allegedly posed as medical doctor and injected 34-year-old Kelly Mayhew with silicone in basement of Far Rockaway house in May 2015
A 38-year-old woman accused of performing a fatal butt enhancement procedure on a woman in 2015 was extradited from London to face homicide charges in Queens after a years-long extradition battle, Queens Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan announced Friday.
Donna Francis was arraigned Friday on charges of criminal negligent homicide and unauthorized practice of a professional in the death of a young television producer in a botched cosmetic procedure that took place in New York City, prosecutors say.
Francis allegedly posed as a medical doctor and injected 34-year-old Kelly Mayhew with silicone in the basement of a Far Rockaway house in May of 2015.
Silicone is an industrial lubricant commonly used on the underground market to plump up body parts, particularly the lips and the buttocks. It is banned for cosmetic purposes in the United States.
Detectives told the I-Team at the time that Mayhew’s mother was an eyewitness to her daughter’s death and begged Francis for help when the young woman stopped breathing.
“On the third injection the daughter turns purple,” Lt. Richard Rudolph, Commanding Officer of the Queens South Homicide Squad, previously said.
Rudolph said that after Mayhew went into shock, Francis cleaned up her supplies and took off, fleeing the country.
According to the charges, on May 30, 2015, shortly after 6 p.m. emergency responders arrived at the scene after the victim’s mother called 911 and found the victim lying face up at the bottom of the stairs. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The medical examiner determined the victim’s cause of death was systemic silicone emboli. Any silicone injected into a human body must be encapsulated to avoid free silicone from entering the bloodstream and causing an embolism, according to prosecutors.
NYPD detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Francis and a Queens grand jury indicted her. British police ultimately arrested her more than a year after Mayhew’s death, but she was released on a monitoring bracelet and has fought extradition.
“The defendant is alleged to have set up a temporary medical practice in the basement of a Far Rockaway home with a massage table and silicone gel purchased from Ebay,” Ryan said in a statement Friday.
“The victim in this case traveled from Maryland with her mother and $1,600 cash and the hope of returning home with the perfect figure. Sadly, she never returned home. She died as the defendant allegedly pumped a clear liquid substance into the woman’s backside, causing her to go into cardiac arrest,” Ryan's statement went on to say.
Francis arrived in Queens Thursday and appeared before a judge Friday. She has been remanded to Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead, New York.
Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 27.
If convicted, Francis faces up to a year in prison due to the extradition order limiting a sentence greater than one year.
Francis’ attorney said that his client is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and that they will fight the charges vigorously if his client decides to let the case go to trial.