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The former Mount Carmel anesthesiologist faces 14 counts of murder after prosecutors say he ordered excessive doses of painkillers that hastened the deaths of patients.

William Husel Makes Bail After Being Charged With 25 Murders

William Husel appears at a Franklin County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. He's charged with 25 counts of murder.
Paige Pfleger/WOSU
William Husel appears at a Franklin County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. He's charged with 25 counts of murder.

Fired Mount Carmel doctor William Husel posted bond Friday, a few days after being charged with 25 counts of murder. Bond was set at $1 million.

Husel is accusedof giving "excessive" doses of painkillers to dozens of patients while working as an ICU doctor and anesthesiologist.

Husel surrendered to Columbus Police on Wednesday morning, and spent two days in jail before posting bail.

At his arraignment Wednesday, Husel's lawyer Richard Blake asked for a lower bail, arguing Husel was not a danger to others nor was he a flight risk. 

“At no time did Dr. Husel ever intend to euthanize anyone – euthanize meaning speed up death,” Blake said. “At no time did he have any intention of doing that.”

Husel faces 15 years to life for each individual murder charge. He pleaded not guilty on all charges.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says his office, the cold case unit of the Columbus Division of Police and medical experts found Husel’s actions prematurely ended the lives of his patients.

“I likened it to the burning down of a candle,” O’Brien said at a Wednesday news conference. “That candle, while there may just be a half an inch of wax left, if I blow that candle out I’m causing that flame to go out sooner than it would naturally.”

The criminal investigation began last December, when Mount Carmel fired Husel and reported him to the prosecutor’s office. Since then, the hospital identified 34 patients who were given excessive doses of fentanyl at Husel’s orders over a five-year period.

Husel and Mount Carmel have been named in at least 24 wrongful death lawsuits. Husel is also being investigated by the State Medical Board.

If you have information to share about the Mount Carmel investigation, please contact WOSU at paige.pfleger@wosu.org.

Paige Pfleger is a former reporter for WOSU, Central Ohio's NPR station. Before joining the staff of WOSU, Paige worked in the newsrooms of NPR, Vox, Michigan Radio, WHYY and The Tennessean. She spent three years in Philadelphia covering health, science, and gender, and her work has appeared nationally in The Washington Post, Marketplace, Atlas Obscura and more.