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Crime

Ohio doctor charged with murder in 25 patient overdose deaths

A former critical-care physician at Mount Carmel Health in Columbus, Ohio, has been charged with 25 counts of murder, after allegedly ordering lethal doses of pain medication for patients.

On Wednesday, William Husel, 43, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Authorities say the incidents took place between 2015 and 2018, when Husel allegedly ordered that patients receive at least 500 micrograms of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and during a press conference Wednesday, Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said expert witnesses told investigators "that a dosage to that level could not support any legitimate medical purpose and a dosage at that level would cause someone's death." Authorities said they have no motive, ABC News reports.

In December, police received a tip that "numerous patients" at Mount Carmel Health died while under the care of Husel, and they went on to investigate the deaths of 35 people. Husel was fired that month, and Mount Carmel Health, which is now facing several lawsuits, released a statement Wednesday saying they have "made and will continue to implement meaningful changes throughout our system to ensure events like these never happen again."