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A Maryland Surgeon Set Up an IV Stand to Administer His Girlfriend Addictive Drugs at Home. Now, He's Going to Prison for Her Overdose Murder.

maryland case
Source: Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, Instagram/@harris.sarah87

Aug. 28 2023, Published 10:09 a.m. ET

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An oral surgeon in Maryland accused of the second-degree murder of his girlfriend after he provided her with a fatal amount of drugs and she overdosed has been convicted, authorities said.

On Jan. 26, 2022, Montgomery County police responded to the Clarksburg, Maryland, home Dr. James Ryan, 48, shared with 25-year-old Sarah Harris and found her dead, WTOP reported.

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Investigators took into evidence multiple bottles of controlled substances at the scene, including propofol, ketamine, midazolam and diazepam, police said.

“Numerous hypodermic needles, syringes and tourniquets were discovered nearby as well,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said at a news conference.

“These bottles are not the type of medication that would normally be dispensed from a pharmacy and are usually reserved for clinical medical settings,” he noted.

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An autopsy determined Harris died with ketamine and diazepam in her system. She weighs 83 pounds at the time of her death, officials said.

Investigators allegedly recovered text messages from Harris to Ryan about getting her drugs, officials said.


“Dr. Ryan also provided instructions on how she could make the effects of some of the drugs more potent,” Jones said. “Additionally, he mentions bringing home and/or providing saline, fluids, needles, IV poles to aid in the administration of drugs or in the recovery from the effects.”

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Harris first met Ryan in late 2020 when she went to him for a medical procedure. Weeks later, police said, she started working as a surgical technician at his practice and the two started a relationship a short time later. They moved in with each other in 2021.

Montgomery County police arrested Ryan on March 22, 2022, for second-degree murder and related drug charges, WTOP reported.

He was convicted of murder on Aug. 25 and faces up to 55 years behind bars when he is sentenced later this year, according to The Daily Record.


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