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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.

Defense rests case in William Husel murder trial

Matthew Rand

Defense attorneys for former Mount Carmel doctor William Husel rested their case Thursday morning after calling only one witness.

The witness for the defense was Dr. Joel Zivot, an anesthesiologist and intensive care specialist at Emory University in Atlanta. Zivot spoke at length about the use of opioids to treat pain in dying patients and why there is no maximum dose.

Prosecutors had previously filed a motion to prevent Zivot and two other experts from testifying, arguing Zivot relied on improper information--including contact with Husel--to form his opinion.

Husel has pleaded not guilty to murder charges for prescribing what prosecutors say were excessive, fatal doses of fentanyl and other drugs to 14 patients.

Prosecutors called more than 50 witnesses to the stand over the course of over a month. They rested their case on Tuesday.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday morning.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.