A former doctor in Ohio was acquitted of murder Wednesday after he was accused of killing at least 14 of his patients by prescribing them deadly doses of the powerful painkiller fentanyl.
Prosecutors said William Husel prescribed at least 500 micrograms of the painkiller to his patients. At the same time, he was a doctor at the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System, where he began working at in 2013.
According to the New York Times, two pharmacists became alarmed in 2018 when they noticed that Husel was prescribing large doses of fentanyl.
In 2018, the ICU physician was fired. He had his medical license suspended in early 2019.
He was initially charged with 25 counts of murder, but 11 of those charges were dismissed in January.
During the trial, Prosecutors argued that Husel prescribed a high dosage of painkillers indicating the 46-year-old was intent to end lives, the Associated Press reported.
The news outlet reported that the prosecutors called on 53 witnesses. In contrast, the defense called on one, a Georgia anesthesiologist, who testified that Husel’s patients died from their medical conditions and not by his actions.
The jury deliberated for six days.
While the verdict was being read, Husel looked stunned.
If he had been convicted of just one count of murder, Husel would have faced life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.