COLUMBUS, Ohio — The murder trial of Dr. William Husel has kept many people on the edge of their seats for months.
10TV spoke with Ric Simmons, a law professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, who said the result of the verdict caught him off guard.
"I have to say I’m surprised. I think the prosecution did a very good job in presenting a very methodical case,” Simmons said.
Former Mount Carmel Dr. William Husel was found not guilty on all 14 counts of murder after nearly two months of trial.
Prosecutors alleged Husel's doses of fentanyl and other drugs hastened the deaths of the patients. Initially, on Monday, the jury told the judge they were at an impasse.
Simmons said with a complex case like this it's always going to be hard for 12 people to come to a unanimous verdict.
"They did ask for a rereading of that reasonable doubt instruction, so maybe that did help the jurors who were holding out for conviction on some of the counts to say, 'No I think there might be reasonable doubt here, and therefore I have to acquit,'” Simmons said.
The former U.S. Attorney for Ohio’s Southern District David DeVllers, a former prosecutor himself, said the Husel case was unique.
“A doctor being accused of knowingly or purposefully killing people, that’s pretty unusual. I can’t think of anything here in Franklin County or the Southern District of Ohio where we have had something like this,” DeVillers said.
While the criminal chapter of the Husel case is now closed, a civil case is looming. In the meantime, Simmons said Husel should appreciate this small victory.
"Facing multiple life sentences must be something that's a huge weight on you and to have that lifted, it's obviously a great day for him,” Simmons said.
The deposition of Dr. Husel in the civil case will start on May 9 and is expected to last one week.
In the criminal trial, Dr. Husel was described as a doctor that did what was best for his patients. The attorney representing his patients said he plans to prove otherwise.