Two men arrested for drilling woman's skull

May 16, 2002
By Rick Ross

Cedar City, Utah -- Two men drilled a hole in a woman's skull during a "New Age" surgery in the small town of Beryl, in Iron County. They were arrested on charges of practicing medicine without a license.

Peter Evan Halverson, 54, and William E. Lyons, 56, were charged after Iron County law-enforcement saw the "20/20 ABC television show, which featured the two men performing a procedure they called "trephination." The two men claimed this ion was done by prehistoric people to somehow relieve pressure. They also claimed it would supposedly increase mental efficiency.

On the "20/20" program, Halverson and Lyons were shown discussing their operation in Las Vegas. Halverson also had a website extolling the treatment.

Heather Evelyn Perry from Great Britain was shown having her skull drilled by the two men on the ABC news show.

Defense attorneys for Lyons and Halverson said that really was no surgery shown, because the producers of "20/20" obscured Perry's head somewhat by placing a blurry dot over the exact location drilled.

At the hearing Mark Beasendorfer, Lyons' lawyer, asked Randy Delcore, an orthopedic surgeon, to define the difference between body piercing, which requires no license, and surgery that does. Dr. Delcore stated surgery was "violating a person's body cavity." Beasendorfer argued that the drilling done was not surgery, but body piercing instead.

Iron County Attorney Scott Burns said, "There is nothing that connects piercing with a hole in the head."

Lyons' and Halverson's lawyers also tried to have the "20/20" tape excluded, but Judge Jackson allowed it in.

The woman whose skull was drilled was unavailable for comment and her location unknown.

Notes: This article is based upon "Alleged New Age Surgeons to Stand Trial," Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 2000 By Thomas Burr

Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

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