Doctor charged with murder in painkiller overdose deaths

This undated file photo shows Dr. William Husel, a physician formerly with Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio, who was charged in June 2019 with 25 counts of murder for allegedly ordering painkiller overdoses for his patients. (WBNS file photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP, WTHR) — A critical care doctor who is already accused of ordering painkiller overdoses for dozens of Ohio hospital patients has been charged with murder in 25 patient deaths.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien announced the charges against now-fired Dr. William Husel Wednesday.

O'Brien says Husel turned himself in Wednesday morning and will be arraigned later in the day.

A lawyer for Husel has said he didn't intend to kill patients. Messages seeking comment were left for that attorney.

The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System found Husel ordered potentially fatal drug doses for 29 patients over several years. He was fired in December.

WTHR's sister station, WBNS, first broke the news of the overdose deaths in January, when more than two dozen wrongful death lawsuits were filed against the doctor and the hospital system. That same day, Mount Carmel Health System President and CEO Ed Lamb issued a taped video apology saying the actions of Dr. Husel were unacceptable and not in line with the hospital’s standards of care.

Mount Carmel has publicly apologized and already settled some of the civil cases for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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