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Another charged with murder in illegal buttocks implant case

JACKSON — A second person faces a charge of murdering a Georgia woman who died from an illegal buttocks implant in Mississippi in March, authorities said.

The Mississippi attorney general’s office said in a news release that 39-year-old Natasha Stewart of Memphis, Tenn., was arrested Jan. 3. The release said she waived extradition and will be returned to Mississippi.

Stewart, who also goes by the name Pebbelz, was indicted on charges of murder, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether she had an attorney.

Morris Garner, who also goes by the name Tracey Lynn Garner, was previously charged with depraved-heart murder and is said to have performed the procedure at his house in Jackson, Miss., on 37-year-old Karima Gordon of Atlanta. Investigators have said the silicone-like substance that was injected into Gordon caused blood clots in her lungs and killed her.

Depraved-heart murder is a legal term for an action that demonstrates a “callous disregard for human life” and results in death. It carries a life sentence.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has said Garner had no training or license to perform the implant procedure.

Hood had said earlier in the investigation 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 at that time only as “Pebbles.”

Gordon met the woman in person in New York City and paid her $200 for the referral to Garner, according to Hood.

Gordon drove to Mississippi with a friend to have the procedure but became ill a few hours later. Her friend called Garner and asked what to do, and he told them to buy some cough medicine, authorities say. Gordon died at a Georgia hospital a few days later.

Deaths from illegal cosmetic procedures have happened sporadically around the country as people seek cheaper alternatives to plastic surgeons. A New Jersey woman pleaded not guilty last year after authorities charged her with giving a man a fatal dose of silicone during a penile enhancement procedure. Prosecutors say the suspect in that case had no medical training.

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