Friday, February 14, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An adult entertainer was sentenced in Mississippi Friday to seven years in prison for helping set up an illegal silicone buttocks injection that killed an Atlanta woman.
Natasha Stewart, 40, was convicted of manslaughter in the 2012 death of 37-year-old Karima Gordon. Stewart, who goes by the professional name of Pebbelz Da Model, took $200 to refer Gordon to the injector and falsely claimed the person was a nurse.
Mississippi Judge Bill Gowan sentenced Stewart of suburban Memphis, Tenn., to seven years in prison and eight years of suspended time for manslaughter. He ordered her to serve five years at the same time for conspiracy to commit culpable negligence manslaughter.
Stewart says she regrets Gordon's death and was "blinded by this substance called silicone" and her quest for "outer beauty."
Stewart pleaded for mercy in the sentencing.
"My heart and deepest condolences go out to Karima Gordon and her family and friends," Stewart said as she fought back tears. "I'm so deeply sorry. All I ever wanted to do was help Karima."
Stewart testified during her trial that Gordon was insecure about her body and wanted help fixing previously botched buttocks enhancements. Stewart said she connected Gordon with the woman performing the injections to help her out, not for money. But she said Gordon insisted on paying her.
Gordon died from silicone embolism in her lungs about a week after getting the shots in March 2012.
Stewart testified that she believed the woman performing the injections at a Jackson, Miss., house was indeed a registered nurse. Stewart had been charged with "depraved-heart" murder, but the jury convicted on a lesser charge of culpable negligent manslaughter.
Tracey Lynn Garner, the one suspected of administering the injections, is charged with depraved-heart murder in the deaths of Gordon and another woman, Marilyn Hale of Selma, Ala. She has pleaded not guilty, with her trial scheduled for March.
A friend and a prison minister also pleaded for mercy on Stewart's behalf, saying she had changed her life during the 13 months she's been held in the Hinds County jail.
Gordon's family was unable to travel to the sentencing Friday because of wintry weather in Atlanta, but sent a letter that Gowan read. They wrote that Stewart already had a "life sentence" because of the number of silicone injections she's received. Stewart testified that she got injections herself more than 20 times over seven years.
Family members wrote that they didn't want Gowan to "throw the book" at Stewart, but also that she "must pay for the part she has played."
Stewart could have faced a sentence of 25 years, but Gowan noted she had never been in legal trouble before.
"It appears this is your first encounter with the law," Gowan said. "Unfortunately, it is a very significant encounter with the law."
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