What to Know
- A woman accused of performing a fatal butt enhancement procedure who fled NY for London pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide
- Donna Francis pleaded guilty to administering the buttocks injections that killed 34-year-old Kelly Mayhew in May 2015 in a Queens basement
- Francis, who had no medical license, injected Mayhew with silicone gel bought from eBay in the basement of a Far Rockaway home
A woman accused of performing a fatal butt enhancement procedure who fled from New York to London rather than face charges pleaded guilty Friday to criminally negligent homicide, prosecutors said.
Donna Francis, 39, pleaded guilty to administering the buttocks injections that killed 34-year-old Kelly Mayhew on May 30, 2015, in a basement in Queens.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has now admitted to causing the death of a young woman who sought a cosmetic procedure at a discount and paid with her life,” acting District Attorney John Ryan said.
Mayhew traveled with her mother from Suitland, Maryland, and paid Francis $1,600 for a buttocks augmentation procedure, prosecutors said.
Francis, who had no medical license, injected Mayhew with silicone gel bought from eBay in the basement in Far Rockaway that served as an illegal plastic surgery clinic, the district attorney said.
Authorities said the silicone entered Mayhew’s bloodstream and killed her. 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.
The medical examiner determined the victim’s cause of death was systemic silicone emboli.
Francis fled to London and was extradited in August. 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.
Her attorney, Kevin O’Donnell, said his client is “incredibly remorseful” for Mayhew’s death and will address the victim’s family at her sentencing Nov. 14.
Under the terms of the extradition agreement, Francis will face no more than a year behind bars.
In another unusual condition of her extradition, Francis will not serve any time at Rikers Island, the notorious jail complex that New York’s City Council voted Thursday to close by 2026. Instead, Francis will be jailed in suburban Suffolk County.