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Jury seated to try Ohio doctor charged in hospital deaths

February 17, 2022 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A jury was seated Wednesday in the case of an Ohio doctor accused in multiple hospital deaths, with the long-awaited trial scheduled to begin next week.

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.

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.

Jurors are expected to hear from at least 50 prosecution witnesses, likely medical experts, as well as additional defense witnesses, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

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Husel, 46, was originally charged with 25 counts of murder. Last month a judge agreed to dismiss 11 of those counts against Husel at the prosecution’s request.

The 25 charges were brought in 2019 by a different prosecutor. Current Prosecutor Gary Tyack said in January 2021 that he favored dismissing some of the counts against Husel and proceeding with fewer cases.