COLUMBUS, Ohio — A jury has been selected in the murder trial of Dr. William Husel, a former Mount Carmel critical care physician, who is accused of ordering potentially fatal doses of fentanyl given to patients under his care.
The process to select the 12 jurors and six alternates started on Monday and ended early Wednesday.
Open statements are expected next week. The trial is expected to last seven to eight weeks.
Dr. Husel faces 14 counts of murder – representing the patients under his care. Husel has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to last eight weeks.
Prosecutors have alleged that Husel ordered excessive doses – and that while his actions may have been done with compassion to prevent suffering – they represent a crime.
William Husel’s legal defense team – including attorneys Jose Baez and Diane Menashe – argue that Husel was providing comfort care in patients in their final moments of life.
Baez pointed out that the prosecution and defense will likely disagree on key topics – including what caused the patients’ deaths.
The prosecution has said they will argue that doses of fentanyl ordered by Husel hastened the deaths of these patients; the defense will argue otherwise.
Both sides acknowledge that the hospital – nor other medical settings – had a maximum dose for fentanyl.
Mount Carmel Health System fired Husel back in December of 2018 after an internal investigation raised questions about his patient care.
His medical license was suspended a month later. While the state medical board has not issued any formal discipline, Husel has allowed his license to expire.
Last month, prosecutors chose to dismiss 11 of the original 25 murder charges – focusing on 14 – most of whom received 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl or more.