Two-decade grudge leads to murder conviction in death of Newport Beach urologist

A disgruntled patient shot and killed his former urologist 21 years after the procedure he blamed for ruining his life.

It only took a day for a jury to convict a man who killed his former urologist in Newport Beach in 2013. Now they will need to decide whether the man was sane at the time.

According to the Orange County Register, Stanwood Fred Elkus, a former barber from Cleveland, walked into Ronald Gilbert’s exam room and shot him 10 times after nursing a two-decade grudge over a procedure he underwent at the VA Long Beach Hospital in 1992. Gilbert, who was a resident there at the time, diagnosed Elkus with a narrowing of the urethra and recommended surgery.

Though Gilbert himself did not perform the surgery, Elkus apparently blamed him for postsurgical issues stemming from prostate damage, including incontinence and erectile dysfunction, as well as the ultimate failure of a long-term relationship, the LA Times reports.


Elevate Health Plan Member Engagement Through Call Center Transformation

Learn how health plans can rapidly transform their call center operations and provide high-touch, concierge service to health plan members.

RELATED: Physician’s murder leaves doctors shaken, questioning how to deal with patients seeking opioids

Colleen O’Hara, Elkus’ defense attorney, argued during the trial that a combination of dementia, severe brain damage and antidepressant use caused her client to enter an altered, psychotic state.

“A person operating within his own reality does not always know the difference between right and wrong,” she told the jury.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy painted a different picture, however, describing a man nursing a long-term grudge who made detailed plans, ordered his affairs, and practiced shooting a .45-caliber handgun to prepare for the crime.

RELATED: Bronx-Lebanon Hospital addresses both practical and emotional repercussions of deadly shooting

Whether eventually found insane or not, the shooting adds another data point to a troubling string of violent incidents, including a case in Indiana where a doctor refused to prescribe opioids to a patient and was subsequently shot by the patient’s husband. In another recent incident at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, a former physician killed one person and injured six before committing suicide.

Hospitals have responded to the rise in violent incidents by beefing up security to the tune of $2.7 billion in 2016 alone, according to an American Hospital Association report.

Suggested Articles

Payers have made strides digitizing and automating many core processes, yet prior authorization remains a largely manual, cumbersome process.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed changes to privacy restrictions on patients' substance use treatment records.

Virtual care, remote monitoring, telehealth and other technologies have long been on the “nice to have” list for healthcare. But that's changing.