James Ryan, a 50-year-old oral surgeon, was found guilty on Friday in the overdose death of his girlfriend, Sarah Harris, 25, who passed away in January 2022 from intoxication due to ketamine, propofol, and diazepam. Harris was found dead at Ryan’s Montgomery County home after being administered these drugs via an intravenous stand.
The jury, after deliberating for three hours, convicted Ryan on all charges, according to WUSA-TV. He now faces up to 55 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for a later date.
Prosecutors highlighted Ryan’s knowledge of the drugs’ risks, emphasizing that he acted with “extreme indifference” to Harris’s life. At the time of her death, Harris weighed just 83 pounds, evidencing her deteriorating health. Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney, Jennifer Harrison, underscored that Ryan, despite his medical expertise, negligently provided Harris with these dangerous drugs until it was fatal.
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones noted that some drugs administered had no legitimate application in oral surgery.
In his defense, Ryan’s lawyers suggested that Harris’s death was either a suicide or an accidental self-administered overdose, pointing to her previous requests for ketamine to cope with depression and the recent death of her brother.
Harris, formerly a patient at Ryan’s Germantown office, later worked for and dated him, living together until her untimely death.