The Dr. William Husel Murder Trial by the Numbers
On Feb. 14, former Mount Carmel physician William Husel will finally have his day in court. Here are a few numbers that highlight the size, scale and scope of what is expected to be a murder trial unlike any other in Central Ohio history.
14 alleged victims, all of whom were patients of Husel. A grand jury in 2019 indicted Husel on charges he killed 25 people, but Franklin County prosecutors dropped 11 counts in January.
900 people summoned in late December for jury duty. Because of the case’s notoriety and the possible one-to-two-month trial length, court officials are seeking about triple the typical number of potential jurors.
4 days per week of trial testimony. Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook, who’s presiding over the case, wants to give jurors Fridays off to rest and recuperate. “We’re going to be dealing with some intense medical issues and some emotional issues,” he says.
2011 was the year a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony of killing her 2-year-old daughter and turned her attorney, Jose Baez, into a legal celebrity. In 2019, Baez agreed to represent Husel. Asked in court why he decided to take the case, Baez responded that Husel looked him in the eye and declared his innocence. “And I believed him,” Baez said.
32 months have passed since Husel was charged. Court officials say the pandemic has been the biggest factor in slowing the legal process. But Holbrook says the delays are over. “It’s going to occur in February, short of me ending up in a casket,” he says.
Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect the dismissal of several charges against Husel.
This story is from the February 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.