SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A Salisbury woman accused of conducting medical procedures using non-medical silicone and causing the death of a teen pleaded guilty on Monday.
Salisbury police say 42-year-old Kavonceya Iman Cornelius, also known as Kenneth Rudolph Cornelius, gave 19-year-old Eugene Jones II silicone injections at her home on Union Heights Boulevard in Salisbury. Jones went back to Fayetteville where he later died from the procedure on Jan. 12, police say.
On Monday, Cornelius plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 to 27 months in jail. The plea was an Alford plea heard in Rowan County Superior Court.
"We felt like this was the most appropriate disposition of this case," said attorney Chris Sease. "I don't think that was something that she intentionally did or was done with malice at all."
Police say a victim contacted them on Feb. 13 and said she was suffering serious health problems after receiving injections from Cornelius, who was unlicensed. This prompted the death investigation of Jones.
WBTV talked with the surviving victim who tipped off police of Cornelius' operation. She wanted to remain anonymous, but said she still feels the effects from her most recent injection with Cornelius.
"My breathing got a lot worse when I got to the hospital, and they kept me in there for over a week on steroids and an oxygen tank," the woman said.
This victim told WBTV that she got this injection back in November of 2016. The victim claims she was on the train heading home and called Cornelius, telling her she was already having complications.
That's when she said Cornelius told her to say she got the injections from Mexico if she had to go to the hospital.
According to the search warrant, doctors told police the silicone hit a vein and reached this victim's lungs. A similar thing happened with Jones, except the silicone had also reached his heart.
The warrant also stated that the surviving victim had received injections from Cornelius 15 times before, and she paid between $500-$1,200 each time. She told WBTV she is glad to hear Cornelius is now behind bars.
"I think that's where she needs to stay, being that she did me, and knew what happened to me, and she did it to someone else, and didn't take responsibility," the victim said.