The trial of Dr. William Husel is being livestreamed each day on NBC4i.com and the NBC4 app. 3:40 p.m. update: Proceedings have ended for the day and are expected to resume Monday at 9 a.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The murder trial against former Mount Carmel West Dr. William Husel wrapped up its fourth week with testimony Thursday.

Husel, 46, has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of 14 ICU patients who were under his care at the former Mount Carmel West from 2015 to 2018. His defense attorneys contend that Husel was providing comfort care to dying patients.

Thursday morning, testimony continued at 9 a.m. with the prosecution and defense questioning Yussuf Ibrow. Ibrow was a Mount Carmel West nurse in 2018 and was asked about his care of Bonnie Austin, one of Husel’s alleged victims.

Second on the stand was Lisa Hayes, whose younger brother Ryan was one of Husel’s alleged victims. He came to the ICU in 2017 while suffering from swelling in his brain after an overdose.

Husel gave him 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl, and just over half an hour later, he was dead. Vanderbilt University intensive care expert Dr. Wes Ely testified on Feb. 28 that Hayes’ dosage was enough “to take out an elephant.”

Thursday afternoon, Dr. Mary Jenny Varughese testified via ZOOM. Varughese, a former Mount Carmel West attending physician, wrote the discharge summary for one of Husel’s alleged victims, Danny Mollette. She also was questioned about her care of patient Ryan Hayes.

Andrew Schirtzinger, son of one of Husel’s alleged victims Beverlee Ann Schirtzinger, testified. Schirtzinger was asked about the circumstances that lead up to his mother’s hospitalization and eventual death at Mount Carmel West.

Next up on the stand was Albert Bellisari, the older brother of Joanne Bellisari, who died under Husel’s care after receiving 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl during a palliative extubation on May 10, 2015, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Albert Bellisari in January 2019.

Albert Bellisari testified that his sister’s condition worsened over the course of the two weeks that she stayed at Mount Carmel, and eventually, his family agreed to remove her from the ventilator.

As they began to remove Joanne Bellisari from the ventilator, a doctor administered what he told Albert Bellisari was “comfort medicine,” he said.

“We gathered around and said prayers, asked God to take her,” Albert Bellisari said. “And we all went home.”

Although Albert Bellisari said he was under the impression that extubating his sister meant she had about a 95% chance of dying, he said there was still a glimmer of hope that she could recover.

He testified that he did not want his sister to be in pain at the moment of her death but said that he and his family wanted Joanne to have a natural death “without any outside influence.”

“I felt that she was sinking, and one nurse, or somebody, said ‘I think she might be dead already’; I just wanted to let her die a natural death,” Albert Bellisari said.

Bellisari, who said he reached a settlement agreement with Mount Carmel Health System, testified that he did not believe his sister died a natural death.

Three former ICU nurses and an internal medicine doctor who worked alongside Husel in the ICU testified Wednesday about the doctor’s character, with one nurse saying the former doctor “cared deeply” about his patients.

Family members of some of Husel’s alleged victims took the stand Tuesday, testifying — some over tears — how their loved ones were treated at the former doctor’s hands.

This was the second time ICU nurses testified in the trial. During Monday’s testimony, other former nurses also described what it was like to work with Husel.

Attorneys have said the trial could last at least eight weeks.

Here are some of the individuals who may appear during the proceedings:

Judge

  •  Michael Holbrook

Defendant

  •  Dr. William Husel

Defense attorneys

Prosecuting attorneys

  • Corinne Buker
  •  Paula Sawyers
  • Taylor Mick Taylor Mick
  • David Zeyen David Zeyen
  •  Janet Grubb