COLUMBUS , Ohio (WCMH) — Attorneys for a former Mount Carmel doctor are raising concerns ahead of a high-profile murder trial.
Dr. William Husel is accused of ordering excessive doses of pain medicine for several dozen patients, but now his defense team wants the murder charges against him thrown out.
During a hearing Wednesday morning, Husel’s legal team called the state’s conduct in this case “unconscionable.”
The defense filed the brief Tuesday, claiming prosecutors intentionally misled a grand jury.
Husel is charged with 25 counts of murder, accused of ordering excessive, and potentially deadly doses of pain medication Fentanyl for more than two dozen patients. Husel has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
His attorneys claim medical records prove some of the dosages were not lethal.
“We know for a fact that there were reports run and people made aware of that 500 or more micrograms was not a fatal dose and this is a case specifically of intent and the only evidence used to measure intent is the dosage amounts,” said Jose Baez, Husel’s lead defense attorney.
The defense is focusing on the prosecutor’s decision to bring charges in the cases where patients received 500 micrograms or more of Fentanyl.
The motion describes medical records about the amount of Fentanyl ordered for a patient, “T.Y.” According to the motion, T.Y received 2,500 micrograms of Fentanyl in less than 40 minutes and then 1,000 more micrograms that same night. The filing goes on to explain T.Y. died 10 days later and “any trace of Fentanyl in T.Y.’s system had long been eliminated conclusively establishing Fentanyl did not cause T.Y.’s death.”
Baez says the state knew that but did not inform the grand jury.
“I think if I were them I would focus on the 25 counts contained in the indictment and not want to talk about a case that he’s not charged on because I’m sure that he treated many people and treated many of them improperly that aren’t contained in the indictment,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.
Baez is accusing O’Brien of prosecutorial misconduct.
“It’s not an accusation, it’s the truth,” said Baez. “These are the facts. You take away the fact that the government had in their possession a patient, just the minimum, patient T.Y. and this was not presented to the grand jury, that’s a major problem.”
The prosecution is entitled to 14 days to file a response.
“I think that’s the way that celebrity lawyers from Miami practice law, by attacking the prosecutor, and so I suppose I’m not surprised. I guess I’m disappointed,” O’Brien said. “This is a frivolous motion and has no merit.”
The court will revisit the motion during the next hearing on Nov. 23. Some of Wednesday’s hearing was about the logistics of having this kind of trial during a pandemic. The trial is scheduled to start in May.