The opening arguments began Tuesday in the trial of a doctor in the state of Ohio in the US Midwest, charged with 14 murders for prescribing painkillers to critically ill patients.
William Husel, 46, is charged with deaths that occurred at Mount Carmel West Hospital in Columbus between February 2015 and November 2018.
Husel, who has pleaded not guilty, was originally charged with 25 murders, but 11 counts were dropped by a judge in January at the request of prosecutors.
The deceased patients were in the hospital’s intensive care unit and ranged in age from 37 years to 82 years old.
“The state will demonstrate that its actions were not purely accidental or medical negligence,” prosecutor Janet Grubb said in her opening statement. “They were, in fact, murders.”
Grubb said the evidence to be presented at trial “will show that William Husel’s actions caused the deaths of these patients.”
“Not all of these people were terminally ill at the date of their death,” she said. “Some of the murdered could have left the hospital to go home or to a hospice.”
Husel, who was discharged from the hospital in December 2018 and had his medical license revoked, has been charged with prescribing lethal doses of fentanyl and benzodiazepines.
The process is expected to take approximately two months.