DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas salon worker was found guilty Tuesday of murder in the death of woman injected in the buttocks with industrial-grade silicone during an illegal cosmetic procedure.
Denise "Wee Wee" Ross was found guilty after the Dallas County jury deliberated over the course of two days. The 45-year-old cosmetician also was found guilty of practicing medicine without a license.
Prosecutors said Ross injected the silicone into Wykesha Reid's buttocks to give her what the salon called the "Wee Wee Booty." The compound circulated through the 34-year-old woman's lungs, probably causing the 34-year-old client difficulty breathing, said Dr. Stephen Lenfest, who performed the autopsy on Reid.
She was found dead at the salon early one morning in 2015, having been dead for four to eight hours, Lenfest testified.
Defense attorney Heath Harris said he and Ross never denied giving the illegal injections at the time of Reid's death, but Harris said prosecutors had not proved that Ross had given Reid her injections.
The trial moved to the punishment phase Tuesday afternoon. Ross faces up to life in prison.
According to trial testimony, Reid had given illegal injections for more than three years in Dallas, telling customers they were getting saline or "hydrogel" injections.
Jimmy Joe "Alicia" Clark also gave the silicone injections to Reid, who died of a pulmonary embolism. However, Clark's murder charge was changed to manslaughter in return for her testimony against Clark. She goes on trial in June.
The conviction of Ross came on the same day that a Florida judge imposed a 10-year prison sentence on a South Florida woman who performed illegal buttocks-enhancements, injecting her clients with toxic materials including tire sealant and superglue and causing one woman's death.
Local media outlets report that 36-year-old Oneal Ron Morris was sentenced Monday in Broward County court. She pleaded no contest last month to manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license. A woman died from complications related to the injections.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of soft tissue fillers, injectable implants, dermal fillers and wrinkle fillers to fill out faces, but the use on buttocks is not approved.