LOS ANGELES – A woman and her daughter were ordered Thursday to stand trial on a murder charge stemming from a woman’s death after an alleged illegal buttocks augmentation procedure at a Sherman Oaks home in 2019.
Libby Adame, 52, and her daughter, Alicia Galaz, 25, are charged with murder in the Oct. 15, 2019, death of 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul.
The woman died at the hospital from acute cardiopulmonary dysfunction and intramuscular/intravascular silicone injections, according to records from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Adame is also charged with three felony counts of practicing medicine without certification, while Galaz is charged with two counts of practicing medicine without certification.
Following a hearing that stretched over portions of four days, Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench said she believed there were some “incredibly interesting issues here,” but rejected a defense bid to dismiss the murder charge.
Deputy District Attorney Lee Cernok told the judge, “This is something that’s being done by two people without a medical license. … To say this is clandestine is an understatement.”
The prosecutor contended that the two were aware that there were problems injecting silicone into the human body based on complaints they had received from other women after the procedure was done, and said that they didn’t stay to inform paramedics what substance had allegedly been injected in Rajpaul’s buttocks.
Adame’s attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, argued that the murder count requires an “intent to kill” and said that there was “certainly no intent to kill.”
Galaz’s attorney, Nareg Gourjian, said after the hearing that he was “extremely disappointed” and said he didn’t think the government had met its burden. He said the defense intends to file a motion asking another judge to reconsider the issue.
Adame and Galaz — who were arrested in August 2021 at their home in Riverside in connection with Rajpaul’s death — are free on $1 million bail while awaiting arraignment March 23 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a statement released after the case was filed that the cosmetic procedure involved injecting an uncontained liquid silicone substance directly into the buttocks to make them look bigger, noting that injecting uncontained silicone into the body can cause it to enter the bloodstream and create embolisms that can result in serious illness or death.
“The suspects fled the scene without identifying or informing the paramedics of the cosmetic procedure for proper lifesaving protocols to be initiated. As a result, the victim died in an emergency room with tending physicians unaware of the silicone injection,” police said.
“Suspect Adame and Galaz are a mother-and-daughter team that performed these inherently unsafe, FDA-unapproved, cosmetic buttocks augmentations. Neither are a licensed medical provider in California and their clients were recruited through Instagram,” police added.