COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The murder trial of Dr. William Husel has been stalled for a week, and now the possible reason is coming to light.
The Ohio Supreme Court confirmed Thursday that it has received an affidavit of disqualification to have Judge Michael Holbrook removed from presiding over the case.
The affidavit was filed along with a motion to seal it, keeping its contents secret for the time. It is not known who filed the request or the reasoning for it.
There has been no public movement in the trial against Husel — accused in the deaths of 14 patients under his care at the former Mount Carmel West hospital from 2015 to ’18 — since last Thursday, a day after the defense rested. Closing arguments would be the next step before jury instructions and then deliberations.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday after originally being scheduled for this week and postponed multiple times.
The trial began in February in Franklin County Common Pleas Court under Holbrook. Prosecutors called 53 witnesses to detail how Husel ordered potentially lethal amounts of drugs to ICU patients, and then defense attorneys called just one, to discuss the concept of comfort care.
The prosecutor’s office had no comment on the affidavit.
Timeline of case
- 2015-2018: Patients in Husel’s care die allegedly from an excess amount of painkillers he prescribed
- December 5, 2018: Mount Carmel fires Husel; notifies Franklin County Prosecutor & State Medical Board of Ohio of his actions
- January 14, 2019: Allegations against Husel become public as Mount Carmel reveals the deaths of dozens of patients who received potentially fatal doses of pain medication
- January 25, 2019: State Medical Board of Ohio suspends Husel’s medical license
- June 5, 2019: Husel turns himself in to police, charged with 25 counts of murder
- June 7, 2019: Husel posts bond, released from jail
- July 11, 2019: Mount Carmel CEO resigns; 23 Mount Carmel employees fired in connection to Husel case
- August 7, 2019: Husel hires Jose Baez as defense attorney
- December 26, 2019: Husel files defamation lawsuit against Mount Carmel Health
- January 20, 2022: 11 of the 25 murder charges against Husel dropped
- February 14, 2022: Jury selection begins
- February 16, 2022: 12 jurors and six alternates selected
- February 22, 2022: Prosecution and defense give opening statements; prosecution begins nearly six-week process of calling witnesses
- March 29, 2022: Prosecution rests case after calling 53 witnesses
- March 30, 2022: Defense calls first and only witness
- March 31, 2022: Defense rests case