Ohio doctor not guilty on 14 murder charges

Coming up: William Husel and his attorneys have called a news conference for 11:30 am It will be livestreamed on NBC4i.com, the NBC4 app and our Facebook page.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Jurors have found Dr. William Husel not guilty at his 14-count murder trial.

Judge Michael Holbrook read the verdict Wednesday morning in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Husel stood as the verdict was read.

“Justice!!!!” Husel attorney Jose Baez wrote in a social media post. “Thank you everyone for your prayers.”

Husel was accused of ordering potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl and other drugs to ICU patients at the former Mount Carmel West hospital from 2015 to ’18. Opening statements took place on Feb. 22. The prosecution called 53 witnesses, and the defense only one, who discussed comfort care.

Watch: Reading of the verdict

Husel, 46, was facing the possibility of life in prison. Per jury instructions, jurors were allowed to consider the lesser offense of attempted murder for each of the counts.

  1. Murder of Joanne S. Bellisari — NOT GUILTY
  2. Murder of Ryan Hayes — NOT GUILTY
  3. Murder of Beverlee Ann Schirtzinger — NOT GUILTY
  4. Murder of Danny Mollette — NOT GUILTY
  5. Murder of Brandy McDonald— NOT GUILTY
  6. Murder of Francis Burke — NOT GUILTY
  7. Murder of Jeremia “Sue” Hodge — NOT GUILTY
  8. Murder of James Allen — NOT GUILTY
  9. Murder of Troy Allison — NOT GUILTY
  10. Murder of Bonnie Austin — NOT GUILTY
  11. Murder of James Nikolas Timmons — NOT GUILTY
  12. Murder of Sandra Castle — NOT GUILTY
  13. Murder of Rebecca Walls — NOT GUILTY
  14. Murder of Melissa Penix — NOT GUILTY

The dozens of witnesses called by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office ranged from former Mount Carmel executives, nurses, and pharmacists to victims’ family members, Columbus police detectives and expert physicians.

Husel’s defense team, comprised of Columbus attorney Diane Menashe and Florida-based attorneys Baez and Jamie Lapidus, called just one expert witness: Dr. Joel Zivot, a physician from Emory University.

For the reading of the verdict, Baez attended over Zoom.

Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack released a brief statement saying he “accepted the jury verdict.”

CLICK HERE for a detailed recap and summary of every day of testimony from the six-week trial.

  • 2015-2018: Patients in Husel’s care die after medical procedures in which he ordered high amounts of painkillers
  • December 5, 2018: Mount Carmel fires Husel, notifies Franklin County prosecutor and 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 remains case after calling 53 witnesses
  • March 30, 2022: Defense calls first and only witness
  • March 31, 2022: Defense remains box

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