Governor Schwarzenegger revokes parole for OC dentist convicted of murder

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File photo: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attends the 2009 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 1, 2009 in Hanover, Germany.

Governor Schwarzenegger, in one of his last acts as California’s chief executive, has revoked the parole granted a Costa Mesa dentist who killed three patients.

Tony Protopappas was a very bad dentist. In the early 1980s, three of his patients – including a 9-year-old girl – died when Protopappas overdosed them accidentally with anesthesia or other medications.

The Costa Mesa dentist says he was a drinker and a drug addict at the time – and that his substance abuse factored into what happened. A jury convicted Protopappas of second-degree murder; a judge sentenced him to 15 years to life.

Last summer, the state parole board OK’d his release. He’d been in prison for more than 25 years – and he’s sober now. But Governor Schwarzenegger, who leaves office next week, has reversed the board’s decision, noting that the 65-year-old Protopappas “poses a risk of recidivism and violence” if he remains free.

The dentist’s attorney expected that; he’s gone to court to appeal the governor’s decision to revoke parole.

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