Oral surgeon found guilty of giving former patient painkillers during toxic romance: “Watched her degrade”

A dentist has been convicted in his girlfriend's 2022 murder after prosecutors say he poisoned her with drugs that are typically only accessible in a medical environment.

After his girlfriend was found dead in their Montgomery County house, surrounded with pill bottles and a murder in January 2022, a Maryland oral surgeon was convicted.

Sarah Harris, 25, , died from ketamine and dialzepam intoxication. Dr. James Ryan 50, was then charged with second-degree depraved heart murder.

Dr. James Ryan is a highly-skilled oral surgeon who has a great deal of experience in his field. According to The Washington Post, Ryan knew the risks better than anyone. “Despite his vast training and knowledge in the field, Ryan continued to provide these deadly, dangerous anesthetics to Sarah Harris for a long period of time, even as he saw her deteriorate.”

Harrison, according to The Post, continued: “Each time he gave Sarah those drugs – whether he administered or instructed her to administer them herself – a small part of Sarah died.” “Until he had given them to her too many times.” He killed her, he murdered Sarah Harris. “He created this risk.”

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Harris was found dead by police when they first responded to the overdose reports at their home in 2022. The couple’s home was also stocked with drug bottles, needles syringes, tourniquets and syringes “usually found in clinical or medical settings”, according to Montgomery County Police chief Marcus Jones, during a press conference held March 2022 to announce Ryan’s arrest.

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Thomas DeGonia argued, according to The Post, that Harris had taken the drugs of her own accord in order to “relieve her depression.” DeGonia said that Harris may have died from suicide or accidental drug overdose. Her brother died just months before her death.

After Harris’ death, police found needles, syringes, tourniquets, and drug bottles that “are usually reserved for clinical or medical settings” at the couple’s home.

According to The Post, “On January 25, 2022, the morning before she’s found [dead], Sarah Harris spent the day with mother visiting cemeteries to find a burial plot for her brother.”

Harris and Ryan will meet in October 2020 during Harris’ wisdom tooth removal appointment at Ryan’s Germantown office, Evolution Oral Surgery. Ryan called Harris, who already had some experience in the dental field a few weeks later, about an opening at his office. The pair started dating “right around New Year 2021.” Jones revealed that they moved in together by the end of summer 2021.


According to the police, Harris’ family and friends became concerned after they saw her appearance deteriorate during their dating.

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Jones stated that Harris was found “at her home on two separate occasions” with empty medication bottles similar to those discovered at the crime scene.

In two separate instances, Harris’ residence was “surrounded by empty medication bottles, similar to those found at the death site,” Montgomery County Police chief Marcus Jones stated in a press conference held on 2022.

The text messages that were obtained by the law enforcement revealed various communications where Harris asked Ryan to bring drugs or drug paraphernalia back home. Ryan would give Harris tips on how to use certain drugs in order to get a powerful effect. Text messages indicated that Harris could have overdosed on December 20, 2021.

Jones stated that Ryan mentioned in a text message giving Harris ketamine while she was sleeping.

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In her obituary, Harris is described as “a kind woman”, with “an elegant memory”.

Sarah Harris, who was “passionate, kind, ambitious, fearless, intelligent, beautiful, and free-spirited” will be remembered for her dedication to helping others, living life to its fullest, while overcoming obstacles, long after she has passed. “Her pure, beautiful and genuine soul will stay with each of her loved one until she meets them in Heaven.”

According to The Post, Jones could face a maximum of 55 years in prison for charges including second-degree murder.

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