COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the 12 jurors in Dr. William Husel’s murder trial is sharing his experience and why the jury decided to find the former Mount Carmel doctor not guilty on 14 murder charges.
Last month, a jury acquitted Husel after a nearly two-month trial. After jurors heard from 54 witnesses, they deliberated for six days before reaching a decision.
Damon Massey said he was among several jurors who were undecided or believed Husel was guilty. Ultimately, Massey does not believe prosecutors gave the jury enough evidence to convict Husel.
“I think they just gave us a bunch of doctors that didn't touch him and then a bunch of nurses that said this guy was a great doctor, a great teacher. So how can you prove intent with that lack of evidence,” Massey said.
Throughout the trial, Husel’s defense team argued he was providing comfort care to dying patients when he ordered doses of fentanyl and other drugs. Those doses, prosecutors argued, were unnecessary and hastened his patients’ deaths.
Massey said he would have liked to hear testimony from doctors who could have explained how critically ill the patients were.
“And if we would've known exactly how sick they were with these diseases, maybe that could have helped us out a little more versus a bunch of doctors who didn't even see these patients, didn't even know what they looked like,” Massey said.
According to Massey, the total number of patients who died played into the jury's deliberations.
“What that showed us was, he wasn't hiding anything,” Massey said. “He wasn't doing nothing in darkness. The pharmacy was overseeing his orders. The nurses was pulling and drawing it, the higher-ups was hearing about it.”
Massey added he believes the more than 50 prosecution witnesses hurt their case.
“The defense gotta love that, because you're going through 53 witnesses and you're losing the focus on what the case is,” Massey said.
While the jury felt Husel’s dosages were high, Massey said their decision to find the former doctor not guilty came down to a lack of evidence and not feelings.
“You cannot send a man to prison off of what you feel inside because what you feel and what the law is is two different things,” Massey said.
Massey, and the rest of the jurors, knew not everyone was going to feel the jury made the right decision.
“It was a sigh of relief, but we walked into that room knowing some people were going to love us and some people were going to hate us,” Massey said.
The trial drew national interest but Massey said his fellow jurors tuned out the attention to focus on making sure they reached what they felt was considered to be the correct verdict.