Atlanta doctor becomes star witness in trial for Ohio doctor accused of killing patients

ATLANTA — On Wednesday, an Ohio doctor was found not guilty of the murders of 14 of his patients.

Prosecutors argued that Dr. William Husel gave his patients fentanyl to end their lives, but the jury and an Atlanta doctor disagreed.

The defense called just one witness during the trial: Emory University Anesthesiologist Dr. Joel Zivot.

Zivot sat down exclusively with Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon after the verdict was announced.

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Dr. Zivot said he wanted to testify because he felt like Husel was innocent.

“I was glad to help a colleague. I thought that he was wrongly charged,” he explained.

During the exclusive interview, Zivot told Wilfon that he reviewed all of Husel’s charts and he believed that Husel prescribed fentanyl to his dying patients to relieve their pain, not to kill them.

“A doctor understands the difference between the relief of suffering and a murderous mind, and there was no murderous intent,” Zivot said.


If Husel was guilty of anything, Zivot says he’d be guilty of caring for his patients too much.

“I was not there at the bedside and I do not know, but Dr. Husel made a decision based on what he saw before him and selected a dose that he thought was reasonable. That’s all I can say,” Zivot said.

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The prosecution released a statement on Wednesday after the verdict came down that read, “The Jury, after review of all the evidence, was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that William Husel was guilty of any charges submitted to them. We accept the jury verdict.”