Florida plastic surgeon arrested months after wife died following procedure

Florida plastic surgeon arrested months after wife died following procedure


A northwest Florida plastic surgeon has been arrested more than six months after his wife died after she went into cardiac arrest while he was performing procedures on her, authorities announced Monday.

Benjamin Jacob Brown, 41, was arrested Monday on one count of second-degree murder: culpable negligent manslaughter, the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Dr. Benjamin Brown

Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office

Deputies were called to Restore Plastic Surgery in Gulf Breeze on November 21, 2023 for a report of a medical emergency and found his wife, Hillary Ellington Brown, had gone into cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital local, authorities said. .

He was put on life support and died a week later on November 28, 2023.

The sheriff's office announced that Brown was arrested Monday after an “extensive investigation” in conjunction with the medical examiner's office and the state attorney's office. He was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail.

The Pensacola News Journal reported that officials determined Hillary Brown “showed signs of lidocaine toxicity” during procedures that included muscle repair, abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction and a lip injection.

According to the newspaper, an investigation by the Florida Department of Health concluded that Brown did not immediately call 911 after his wife became unresponsive, and also waited at least 10 minutes before starting CPR.

Hillary Ellington Brown

Rose Lawn Funeral Home

The health department also said Brown engaged in “medical malpractice” by performing unauthorized procedures on patients and failing to follow sterility protocols, the Pensacola News Journal previously reported.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said its detectives were continuing to investigate Hilary Brown's death.

“In accordance with our policies and procedures, SRSO investigators typically conduct death investigations when the death was unexpected or the death occurs under unusual circumstances,” the sheriff's office said.

Officials said the cause and manner of death is pending receipt of an autopsy report from the medical examiner's office. This process can take several months as it involves extensive laboratory and toxicology testing.

Marty Ellington, Hillary Brown's father, told the Pensacola News Journal that his daughter died because of “a careless person.”

“His ego and arrogance overshadowed the need for help, prolonging the deprivation of oxygen to his brain and ultimately causing his death,” Ellington told the newspaper. “Ben Brown took the mother of my grandchildren, my only daughter and our brightest star.”


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