Juror: Desai Case 'Cut and Dry' - 8 News NOW

Juror: Desai Case 'Cut and Dry'

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LAS VEGAS -- A juror in one of the biggest trials southern Nevada has seen in years revealed what happened in the jury room during deliberations.

Dr. Dipak Desai was found guilty across the board, convicted of 27 criminal charges, including murder.

Prosecutors successfully argued Desai put profits over patients, causing several hepatitis C infections at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

During the criminal trial, jurors listened to seven weeks of testimony.

What happens in the jury room during deliberations is top secret.

Desai was cuffed after being convicted for one of the worst hepatitis outbreaks in U.S. history.

Desai's family cried out, telling the 63-year-old gastroenterologist God is always with him, as he was taken away to the Clark County Detention Center.

"We love you, Daddy," Desai's family called out. "We love you. God is always with you."

Juror Greg, who withheld his last name, said the jury did not have any problem convicting Desai of second-degree murder for last year's death of 77-year-old patient Rodolfo Meana.

"It was cut and dry as far as the jury was concerned on the murder because he was the ringleader," Greg said. "And he taught everybody as to what to do."

Nurse anesthetist Ronald Lakeman was acquitted of murder, but found guilty on 16 of 27 charges.

"When the jury was hung at the last minute there, it wasn't due to Dr. Desai," Greg said. "We were across the board on him. The hung part was on Lakeman."

The trial focused on patient endangerment and financial crimes.

"The evidence that came out against Dr. Desai clearly showed that he was putting his personal profits over patient care, and that's reprehensible on any level," said Terry Coffing, an attorney for the Southern Nevada Health District.

Ultimately, reused syringes and vials of the anesthetic propofol caused the hepatitis virus to spread at the clinic.

"The District Attorney's office considers this to be one of the most important cases that we can ever handle, and I think what we seek as far as punishment will reflect that," Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

As for the jury's verdict, Greg said, "I'm hoping it sends a message to the medical field. They have to protect their patients at all cost."

Both Desai and Lakeman could end up spending the rest of their lives in prison.

Desai, at minimum, will serve 10 years behind bars because of the murder conviction.

Sentencing in this case is Sept. 5, and then Desai faces a separate federal fraud trial next month.

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