Jimmie E. Gates, Clarion-Ledger
An Atlanta woman became gravely ill within 30 minutes of receiving a buttocks injection of a silconelike substance from a Jackson man who dresses and lives as a woman, an investigator with the Mississippi attorney general's office testified Monday.
Karima Gordon, 37, later died at a Georgia hospital.
During Morris Garner's preliminary hearing Monday, Hinds County Judge Houston Patton said he was sending the case to a grand jury on a depraved-heart murder charge, and he denied bond for Garner, calling the defendant's action "reckless and callous."
The case against Garner, who also goes by the name Tracey Lynn Garner, is the first of its kind in Mississippi in which an unlicensed person is accused of giving a buttocks or breast enhancement injection that led to an individual's death.
Attorney General's Office Investigator Lee McDivit said the Georgia medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Gordon said the woman died from an embolism, commonly referred to a blood clot, from the injected foreign substance blocking the flow of blood to arteries.
According to McDivit, the medical examiner said saving Gordon's life would have required removing her entire buttocks down to the bone.
"The medical examiner said brain surgery would have been less invasive," McDivit testified.
A witness who drove with Gordon to Jackson said the woman complained about the pain of the injection that she paid $1,500 to receive.
McDivit said Gordon indicated the injection was the most painful thing she ever experienced.
Within 30 minutes of leaving Garner's Peyton Avenue home, Gordon became severely ill, vomiting and suffering diarrhea, McDivit said the witness told authorities.
The witness said they returned to Garner's house, and he told them to go to a drug store and get an antihistamine .
Within six hours of leaving Jackson, Gordon was admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital. She died in March.
McDivit said investigators recovered a bag with syringes, super glue and cotton balls during a search of Garner's house.
McDivit said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lab in Cincinnati is trying to determine what silconelike substance was injected into Gordon.
During cross examination, Garner's attorney, John Colette, asked if McDivit knew whether Gordon had gotten other injections.
Colette said there was no way for McDivit to know if Garner was responsible for all the substance that was injected into Gordon.
Colette argued that Garner was entitled to bond because the charge isn't capital murder.
On Sept. 6, another judge in Jackson Municipal Court also denied Garner bond .
State Assistant Attorney General Patrick Beasley said Garner faces a life sentence if convicted .
Beasley said Garner should be held without bond because there is no way to ensure he wouldn't perform other illegal injections .
Beasley said authorities know Gordon wasn't the only person to receive an injection from Garner. The attorney general's office is asking anyone who received an injection from Garner to contact authorities. He said the individuals can remain anonymous and would face no criminal action.
Garner, 53, worked as a floral and interior designer. Colette said Garner had undergone operations to change gender.
Attorney General Jim Hood said that Gordon, who had served in the military and wanted to become a model, found Garner after meeting someone on the Internet known to authorities only as "Pebbles." Gordon met Pebbles in person in New York City and paid her $200 for the referral to Garner, according to Hood.
Hood said his investigators were looking for Pebbles.