A jury convicted an oral surgeon of second-degree depraved heart murder and involuntary manslaughter in overdose death of his girlfriend.
Sarah Harris, 25, died of ketamine, propofol and diazepam intoxication in January 2022 in the Clarksburg, Maryland, house she was renting with Dr. James Michael Ryan, 50.
Ryan was Harris’ boss and boyfriend and provided her with the drugs from his practice, prosecutors said.
“These drugs were drugs, except for one of them, that were used uniquely and exclusively in operating rooms — not prescription drugs,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said.
Text messages and emails showed Ryan had been providing Harris with the drugs, prosecutors said. They argued one message that read “If you wake up… I just went o change after I gave you ketamine. Just now” showed Ryan administered the drug while she was sleeping.
Harris’ sister showed the messages she found on her sister’s phone to the lead detective.
“That’s when he started his work on his investigation into Dr. James Ryan and what he was doing to my sister behind closed doors,” Rachel Harris said.
Harris’ family says she competed in beauty pageants, knew multiple languages and dreamed of joining the Peace Corps to help people around the world.
“Sarah was the shining star to all of our lives,” said her father, Mark Harris. “She was a caring, loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, aunt and friend.”
Ryan maintains his innocence. He faces up to 55 years in prison.
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