What to Know
- Detectives say Donna Francis administered silicone injections in the basement of a home in Queens, New York
- In 2015, Francis allegedly gave an illegal silicone butt injection to a Maryland woman, who then died
- Francis has pleaded guilty to a homicide charge. As part of an extradition agreement, she's expected to be sentenced to only one year
A fake medical professional who admitted giving illegal silicone injections that killed a Maryland woman will spend less than a year in jail for the crime. The News4 I-Team was the only local station in the New York courtroom Thursday when Judge Kenneth Holder issued that sentence.
“Ms. Francis, I have to say that the phrase 'getting away with murder' certainly applies to you. And to say that I’m not happy with this plea and this sentence is an understatement," Holder said.
The judge told Francis she deserves more time in jail for killing BET producer Kelly Mayhew. But prosecutors were forced to make a deal, agreeing Francis would serve no more than a year, in order to get her extradited to the U.S. to stand trial.
“It pains me that we can’t give her more than one year,” Assistant District Attorney George DeLuca-Farrugia said.
The I-Team tracked Francis down in 2017 in London, where she fled shortly after the crime. At the time, Francis said she did not want to comment on the case.
On Thursday, she apologized to Mayhew's family members, who traveled from Maryland for the sentencing. Mayhew and her mother made that drive together in May 2015 to the basement apartment in Queens that Francis used as a makeshift office.
“My sincere apologies, and I’m sorry for all the years this has been going on," Francis said in court. "I’m just sorry.”
Francis admitted injecting illegal liquid silicone to enhance Mayhew's backside. That silicone traveled through her bloodstream, killing her.
“I’m sorry," Francis said. "That wasn’t my intention to hurt anybody. I’m just sorry.”
Francis spent four years fighting extradition. Ultimately, a British judge sent her back to New York but only after prosecutors agreed to the deal, which also included serving her time in a local jail instead of state prison.
"She’s a coward. She fled home. She didn’t help. She didn’t try to help," said Mayhew's aunt, Ellen Bradley. "All she cared about was herself.”
Several members of the Mayhew family drove from D.C. and Maryland to face her killer in court, after waiting four years.
“We're devastated for our loss; we really are,” Bradley said.
Mayhew’s brother, Richard Lane, read a statement from their mother, telling the judge that Mayhew’s death in her arms was a nightmare.
“Kelly’s last words to my mother was, ‘Mommy, hold my hand,’” Lane said.
Francis has been in jail since her return to the U.S. in August. With good behavior, she'll only have about five months of her sentence left to serve, her attorney told News4. Then she'll be deported back to England.