Jury deadlocked in murder trial of Ohio physician

Jurors deliberating in the trial of William Husel, MD, a physician facing murder charges for the deaths of 14 hospital patients, said they have hit an impasse and could not reach a verdict April 18, according to CBS News.

Franklin County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Holbrook urged the jury to make one more attempt to reach a verdict. 

"There is no reason to believe the case will ever be submitted to a jury more capable, impartial or intelligent than this one," he told the jurors, according to The Columbus Dispatch. "Likewise, there is no reason to believe that more or clearer evidence will be produced by either side. It is your duty to decide the case, if you can conscientiously do so."

Mr. Husel is accused of ordering fatal painkiller doses for the patients — who were near-death and in intensive care — while practicing as a physician at Columbus, Ohio-based Mount Carmel Health System between 2015 and 2018. 

Prosecutors allege Mr. Husel intentionally prescribed excessive fentanyl doses to accelerate the patients' deaths. The defense argued that prosecutors have not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the doses actually sped up patients' deaths or that Mr. Husel ordered the medications with the intent to kill them.

After deliberating for several more hours April 18, the jury asked the court for additional guidance on the definition of "reasonable doubt," according to CNN

Mount Carmel fired Mr. Husel in 2019, the same year the State Medical Board of Ohio suspended his license. He let his license expire in 2021, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

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