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Trial begins for Hawaii dentist accused of manslaughter

HONOLULU — The trial has begun for a former dentist on Oahu accused of manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old patient.

Finley Boyle stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack after being sedated during a December 2013 dental procedure conducted by Lilly Geyer.

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The young girl entered a coma and died a month later.

Geyer was indicted in 2016 on 37 counts that included medical assistance fraud, assault and drug violations.

During opening arguments in court Thursday, Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Michael Parrish said the former Kailua dentist instructed her receptionist to administer the sedatives, but neither Geyer nor the assistant were licensed for the task. Geyer was not in the room when the sedatives were dispensed, he said. Her receptionist sometimes served as a dental assistant.

“The defendant did not want her girls to tell anyone that the defendant was not present when the drugs were taken out, mixed, administered,” Parrish said.

When the assistant asked if they should call 911 after Finley stopped breathing, Geyer said “no” several times, the prosecutor said.

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The child had a viral respiratory infection about 3 weeks before seeing Geyer, but Finley’s mother never told the dentist or disclosed it on any of the appointment paperwork, defense attorney Michael Green told the court. Without that information, Geyer did not understand why the complications were occurring, he said.

“This dentist, which is her practice and policy, goes over the form and one of the questions is, ‘does your daughter have a respiratory illness?’ And the answer was ‘no,’” Green said.