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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The murder trial against Dr. William Husel continued Tuesday with several of his former colleagues testifying.
Husel, 46, is facing murder charges in the deaths of 14 ICU patients who were under his care at the former Mount Carmel West hospital from 2015 to 2018. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
First on the witness stand was John “Sean” O’Connell, the former director of pharmacy at Mount Carmel West, who was terminated in July 2019.
Prosecutors questioned O’Connell about his role at the pharmacy and how he handled concerns regarding fentanyl doses ordered by Husel. O’Connell also reiterated that pharmacists do not diagnose disease nor order drugs in a hospital setting.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Diane Menashe questioned O’Connell about a separation agreement between him and Mount Carmel West that prohibited him from speaking about any of the involved parties in Husel’s case — unless served with a subpoena, he said.
O’Connell, whose tenure at Mount Carmel West extended more than 40 years, testified that he felt as though he was treated unfairly by the hospital.
Dr. Gina Moody, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Mount Carmel, testified about time in her the ICU in 2013, where she largely managed the health of patients. She was questioned and described the extubation process as well as Do-Not-Resuscitate Comfort Care (DNR) request by patients in ICUs.
And Dr. Deborah Woidtke, a hospitalist specializing in internal medicine contracted by Mount Carmel through Columbus Inpatient Care, testified about the medical chart of two of Husel’s alleged murder victims: 75-year-old Rebecca Walls and 82-year-old Melissa Penix, both of whom she cared for as well.
On Monday, proceedings ended in time Monday for Dr. Wes Ely to catch a flight home to Tennessee. Ely will return to Columbus to continue his testimony in person at a later date, Judge Michael Holbrook told the jury Tuesday morning.
Ely, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and a pulmonary and critical care medicine specialist, discussed what he called a “mind-boggling” dose of fentanyl administered to Husel’s patients — but faced cross-examination from the defense that elicited Ely’s opposition to euthanasia.
Here are some of the individuals who may appear during the proceedings:
- Michael Holbrook
- Dr. William Husel
- Jose Baez
- Jaime Lapidus
- Diane Menashe
- Corinne Buker
- Paula Sawyers
- Taylor Mick
- David Zeyen
- Janet Grubb
- Powell Miller