Former dentist found not guilty in death of 3-year-old patient

Posted at 12:50 PM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 13:50:59-05

By Ashley Nagaoka

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A verdict was delivered Friday in the case of Lilly Geyer, a former Kailua dentist accused of recklessly causing the death of a young patient.

Geyer faced two counts of manslaughter and one count of assault. The jury found her not guilty after a weeks-long trial.

“There’s no celebration here. There was a beautiful little girl that lost her life. And the story that came out was part of a story to make this doctor look like she overmedicated her and she refused to rescue her for 20 minutes. That was not what happened here,” defense attorney Michael Green said following the verdict.

Prosecutors were not available for comment.

Last week, 41-year-old Geyer was cross-examined by deputy attorney general Michael Parrish, who asked why more aggressive actions were not taken to get little 3-year-old Finley Boyle oxygen.

“Basically you’re saying there’s no way you can get that tubing down Finley’s throat in order to open an airway so that she can breathe,” Parrish asked.

“If she has a muscle spasm, there’s no way you can get it through. There’s no opening,” Geyer answered.

After an evaluation on Nov. 7, 2013, the patient’s mother was told Finley had 10 cavities and needed four baby root canals.

She went ahead with the dental surgery on Dec. 3. Things took a turn for the worst after sedatives were administered, and Finley died about a month later.

Parrish also asked the former dentist why she didn’t use the atropine in her emergency kit to help relax the little girl’s throat muscles.

“In that timeframe, that short timeframe, I wasn’t trying to diagnose exactly what was going on and inject her with a whole bunch of different medications. I was trying to apply oxygen,” Geyer said.

Geyer and her attorney argued that Finley’s mother did not tell her the young child was diagnosed with a viral upper respiratory infection several weeks before the procedure.

She says she was led to believe Finley was in "perfect health," and says that's why she was so confused when things started going wrong.

"I did not want to sedate a patient that had a higher risk," Geyer said.

Parrish also questioned Geyer about a discrepancy between her testimony and her assistant’s over the 911 call made eight to 13 minutes after Finley’s oxygen levels dropped.

Geyer says she directed her assistant Nicole to call 911 immediately but says she was told later that the call was delayed because Nicole was too overcome with emotion.

Geyer voluntarily shut down her Kailua practice shortly after the incident.

Her attorney said she will go before the licensing board to see if they will reinstate her license as the next step.

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