Posted: Jul 13, 2010 7:40 PM
by Mark Bellinger
LEBANON, Tenn. – A Wilson County pediatrician accused of killing her adopted daughter is still legally able to practice medicine in the state of Tennessee. That’s because there is no law or rule providing an automatic review of a medical license when a doctor faces criminal charges.
A Wilson County grand jury indicted Dr. Deborah Mark and charged her with one count of first degree murder, one count of perpetration of aggravated child abuse, one count of aggravated child abuse and four counts of child abuse. She is accused of killing 4-year-old Kairissa Mark.
Her husband, Steven, faces an 8 count indictment. The charges are aggravated child abuse and neglect, criminal responsibility for aggravated child abuse, aggravated assault by failure to protect, accessory after the fact and four counts of child abuse.
The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners oversees licensed health professionals. Board records show Doctor Mark has never even faced disciplinary action. Her attorneys said that’s not a surprise. Jack Lowery and Jack Lowery Junior represent Dr. Deborah Marks and Steven Marks.
“I’ve had several calls this morning from people who talked about what a good doctor she was, how kind she was to children in her treatment and her profession,” said Lowery. “We’re not in a position to make any explanation at this point, because as he eluded to this thing has happened so quickly that we’re trying to get our hands around what has occurred here.”
The Lowery’s said to their knowledge neither parent has been in trouble in the past with the law.
“It’s a highly emotional time. It’s a difficult time. They have another 8-year-old child that they’re concerned about as well,” said Lowery, Jr.
The Mark’s live in Mt. Juliet. Steven is a civil engineer who is a stay-at-home dad. Dr. Mark graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1997. For three years she did a pediatric residency at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. The Lowery’s said she’s been practicing medicine in Tennessee for 10 years.
Church officials said they regularly attend the Donelson Fellowship Church in Donelson.
Lowery, Jr. said the Mark’s are having a difficult time dealing with the charges and the death of their adopted daughter.
“So, a family has been completely upset in this process and so it’s like anybody. It would be extremely difficult,” said Lowery, Jr.
The attorneys said the Marks are both U.S. citizens born and raised in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Both are free after posting bonds on Monday.
The couple also has an 8-year-old biological daughter. She has been in DCS custody since the beginning of the police investigation.
Doctor Mark is employed by Centennial Pediatrics in Lebanon. Centennial has not returned our phone calls, but they have removed her profile from their web site.
The Mark’s are scheduled to appear in Wilson County Criminal Court July 23 for an arraignment.