Judge to dismiss 11 murder counts against Ohio doctor

Jan 20, 2022, 3:36 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge agreed Thursday to dismiss 11 of 25 murder counts against an Ohio doctor charged in multiple hospital patient deaths, after prosecutors requested the charges be dropped.

William Husel is accused of ordering excessive painkillers for patients in the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System. He was indicted in cases involving at least 500 micrograms of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, and remains scheduled for trial beginning Feb. 14.

Prosecutors said ordering such dosages for a nonsurgical situation indicated an intent to end lives. Husel has pleaded not guilty and says he was providing comfort care for dying patients, not trying to kill them.

After holding a closed-door hearing to allow family members of the alleged victims to comment on the request, Franklin Judge Michael Holbrook said he’ll approve the dropping of the charges.

The charges were brought in 2019 by a different prosecutor. Current Prosecutor Gary Tyack told The Dispatch in January 2021 that he favored dismissing some of the counts against Husel and proceeding “with a small number of cases.”

Mount Carmel has reached settlements totaling more than $16.7 million over the deaths of at least 17 patients, with more lawsuits pending.

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Judge to dismiss 11 murder counts against Ohio doctor