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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.

Juror on the William Husel murder trial says 'intense' deliberations took place before acquittal

William Husel arrives to court for closing arguments on April 11, 2022.
Matthew Rand
William Husel arrives to court for closing arguments on April 11, 2022.

Former juror Damon Massey who served on the murder trial of Dr. William Husel that ended in acquittal in April describes tense deliberations.

"For several days it was very, very intense trying to prove your point of where you were,” said Massey.

Husel was accused of murdering 14 patients who were under his care at Mount Carmel West Hospital.

The jury deliberated for six days on the 14 counts of murder and at one point told Franklin County Court of Commons Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook that they could not reach a verdict. The judge sent them back to work.

Massey says he was one of two jurors who initially voted to find Husel guilty on some of the charges.

"We kind of had to look at everything collectively and go through these medical records over and over before we were comfortable with a ruling,” said Massey. “I was able to narrow myself down to zero guilties and we were able to narrow the other juror down to where he kind of saw where we were coming from, and we were able to come up with the not guilty ruling."

Massey said emotional testimony from family members did not sway the jury. One family member, Christine Allison, testified saying, “He killed my husband.” However, Massey said Husel’s attorney was effective at discrediting Allison’s testimony.

"Diane Menashe was able to come out and kind of call her untruthful," said Massey.

Jurors were not sequestered during the seven-week trial. Massey said it was difficult to shut out the media coverage.

“I get my haircut every Monday, and it would be right after court, so of course the news would come on and my barber would have to turn the channel or turn it down for me,” said Massey.

His advice for other jurors is to focus on the trial, and after the court day is over, concentrate on your normal life.

An attorney representing family members of eight patients said there are 10 pending medical malpractice lawsuits against Husel. A trial is set to start in one of the cases in late June.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.