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Former Fort Worth pediatrician convicted of indecent exposure found dead

01/14/2013 11:02 PM

01/15/2013 3:00 PM

FORT WORTH -- A former Fort Worth pediatrician who failed to appear in court Friday to be sentenced on an indecent exposure conviction was found dead at his southwest Fort Worth home, police said Monday.

Officers went to the home of Lundy Eldridge Cavender Jr. in the 7500 block of Kings Trail shortly before 4 p.m. Friday at the request of a concerned relative, homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said.

They found Cavender, 58, dead in his car in the garage.

He showed no signs of trauma, and investigators do not suspect foul play, Johnson said.

"The case is still under investigation to determine cause and manner of death pending toxicology results," Johnson said.

Cavender was scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Friday by County Criminal Court Judge Billy Mills. A jury convicted him in August of masturbating in front of an employee in Cavender's medical office.

He faced a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail, but the judge could have sentenced him to two years of probation, prosecutors have said.

When Cavender did not show up in court, Mills revoked his bond and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Cavender had a long record of sexually inappropriate behavior.

In May 1994, his hospital privileges at Huguley Memorial Medical Center were suspended because of reports of physical contact with mothers of young patients, according to records from the Texas Medical Board. The contact included kissing, hugging and inappropriate touching between fall 1990 and November 1993, the records say.

Cavender agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment and have a chaperone present during patient visits for a five-year probationary period. After three years, the restrictive order was dropped based on Cavender's history of compliance, medical board records say.

Huguley restored Cavender's privileges during a two-year probation after he completed sexual compulsivity treatment at Charter Health Systems of Dallas, the records say.

Cavender had attempted suicide at least twice. In August 2009, after the employee filed a report with Fort Worth police complaining about his masturbating, Cavender was admitted to John Peter Smith Hospital after overdosing on drugs. The next day, he tried to hang himself in the hospital bathroom, authorities reported.

The Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended his license in August 2010 and ordered in June 2012 that the suspension continue because criminal proceedings were still pending.

His attorney, Abe Factor, was in court Monday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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