California Plastic Surgeon Accused Of Murder In Connection With Patient Who Died 6 Weeks After Undergoing Breast Augmentation

california case

Apr. 11 2023, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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A plastic surgeon in Southern California is accused of murdering a patient who had heart trouble during a lengthy operation.

Dr. Carlos Chacón, 48, pleaded not guilty April 10 in San Diego to second-degree murder in the death of Megan Espinoza, 36, in early 2019.

Prosecutors say the woman went into cardiac arrest while undergoing breast augmentation surgery at Chacón's office in December 2018. Espinoza died at a hospital six weeks later.

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Chacón was charged with involuntary manslaughter in 2021. Prosecutors told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the enhanced murder charge was due to the doctor showing “conscious disregard for life.”

Espinoza reportedly had no heartbeat for nearly three hours before anyone in the office called for help. Prosecutors claimed at a Monday hearing that Chacón would not allow any staff member to dial 911.

They also accuse Chacón of leaving Espinoza behind during her distress to see four other patients.


The Times of San Diego added prosecutors also believe Chacón has been “using unlicensed, unqualified employees,” putting overall patient safety at risk.

But defense attorney Mark Carlos says prosecutors are using “a stretch of the facts” to justify the murder charge.

Doctors out there should be concerned because if something bad happens, this is what’s happening to them next,” Carlos said.

Prosecutors might not have known about Espinoza's death except for a paramedic, who reported Chacón to the Medical Board of California.

A registered nurse on Chacón's staff also is charged, still accused of involuntary manslaughter. Heather Lang and Chacón both await preliminary hearings in June.


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