- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) A former doctor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was convicted of lying about the 1998 death of a teen-ager after routine surgery and will be dismissed from the service.
Capt. Michael G. Hamner, an anesthesiologist, was acquitted of negligent homicide in the death of 16-year-old Katie Tyra of Fairfax County.
The teen-ager went to the Washington hospital in April 1998 to have a benign cyst removed from her neck. She died 13 days later.
The Army charged that Hamner improperly administered an antibiotic, failed to call promptly for assistance when the girl went into cardiac arrest and lied about the dosage to doctors trying to save her.
Hamner was convicted Wednesday of dereliction of duty and five counts of making false official statements. His attorney, Frank Spinner, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
While malpractice accusations are common, no Army doctor has been criminally charged in a medical case in at least three decades, military officials have said.
Hamner was sentenced Thursday by Col. Theodore Dixon at Fort Lewis, where the case had been moved from Washington.
The sentence will be reviewed by the Fort Lewis commander, Lt. Gen. James Hill, who may lessen the penalty but cannot increase it, Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Hitt said. A military appeals court will also review the case.
The Army originally charged Hamner with involuntary manslaughter. An Army judge blocked his court-martial on that charge in January, saying the involvement of top Pentagon officials may have tainted the decision to prosecute Hamner.
The child's father, William Tyra, a retired Marine Corps colonel, had called on the Army to punish Hamner. He also accused Walter Reed officials of participating in a cover-up. According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, the Army is investigating that accusation.

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