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Prosecutors mum as others close to case say nearly half of murder charges against Dr. William Husel being considered for dismissal

William Husel currently faces 25 counts of murder, accused of ordering excessive and potentially lethal doses of fentanyl be given to patients under his care.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ahead of a Thursday court hearing, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office remains tight-lipped about which of the 25 murder counts they’re considering dismissing against Dr. William Husel.

Husel currently faces 25 counts of murder, accused of ordering excessive and potentially lethal doses of fentanyl be given to patients under his care. He has pleaded not guilty and faces a trial next month.

RELATED: Watch 'Deadly Dosage: The Dr. Husel Chronicles' – A 10 Investigates documentary series

Central to the prosecution’s case is the allegation that the medication doses were so excessive they hastened these patients’ deaths. Husel’s attorneys have argued he was providing comfort care to dying patients.

But sources close to the case tell 10 Investigates prosecutors have considered dismissing between 11 to 13 of the murder counts.

A family member of one of the patients told 10 Investigates Wednesday that she was informed her loved one’s case is among those being dropped.

But which counts remain and which are dismissed has been a bit fluid, according to another source, who said prosecutors have wavered over including or excluding certain cases.

A family member of one of the patients said the prosecutor’s office has kept in close contact over the past week. But another source indicated some patients' families still aren’t clear if their loved one’s case will be included or dropped before trial.

After unseating long-standing prosecutor Ron O’Brien – whose office indicted Husel in 2019 – newly-elected prosecutor Gary Tyack had indicated a year ago that he thought some of the charges against Husel could be dismissed.

Here is what he told the Columbus Dispatch in January 2021:

"Speaking just for myself, I think it made no sense when they indicted it, I think it makes no sense going forward with the huge number of cases," Tyack said. "What we should do as the prosecution is pick a finite number, a small number of cases that are the best to make as the prosecutor and dismiss the rest because there is nothing to be gained other than turning it into a show."

It was just last week that an email from 10 Investigates to Judge Michael Holbrook prompted the judge’s staff attorney to ask if they were considering dropping some of the murder charges.

In a Jan. 14 email, the staff attorney wrote to the prosecutor’s office:

“The Judge has received several media inquiries concerning the State’s intent to dismiss some of the charges. He asked that I reach out to you with a reminder that he is of the opinion that Marsy’s Law would apply. Thus, IF there is an intention to dismiss any changes, a hearing will be required providing any associated victim(s)’ family with the opportunity to be heard before any nolle could be signed. Obviously, time is now of the essence. Please let me know if we need to be setting aside time for a hearing.”

The prosecutor’s office replied, stating: “Yes, the judge will be needing to set aside time for a hearing.”

First assistant prosecutor Janet Grubb declined to comment to 10 Investigates Wednesday when asked about how many cases were being considered for dismissal. She responded in an email saying:

“We will address all of these questions tomorrow in court on the record. No further comment for tonight.”

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