Sentencing Delayed in Hepatitis C Case, Another Patient Dies - 8 News NOW

Sentencing Delayed in Hepatitis C Case, Another Patient Dies

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Dipak Desai in court Thursday morning. Dipak Desai in court Thursday morning.
Ronald Lakeman in court Thursday morning. Ronald Lakeman in court Thursday morning.
Michael Washington died Aug. 23. Michael Washington died Aug. 23.

LAS VEGAS -- A second person who contracted hepatitis C during an outpatient procedure at a Las Vegas endoscopy clinic has died.

Michael Washington, 73, died on Aug. 23 in Texas, according to Washington's lawyer Ed Bernstein.

Washington was the second person to die after contracting the disease in 2007. Rudolfo Meana died in April 2012. 

Former Dr. Dipak Desai, the owner of the endoscopy clinic, was due to be sentenced Thursday following his conviction for second-degree murder, patient neglect and other charges in a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak.

The sentencing for Desai and a former clinic employee, nurse-anesthetist Ronald Lakeman, was delayed until Oct. 24, 2013. Prosecutors Michael Staudaher and Pamela Weckerly said a presentencing report wasn't completed in time for the scheduled sentencing.

"The victims in this case, the public in this case, my client in this case, all deserve some speedy resolution and finality to this matter," said Fred Santacroce, Lakeman's attorney.

Desai, 63, and Lakeman, face what could be the rest of their lives in prison after a jury found them guilty July 1.

The 66-year-old Lakeman was spared a murder conviction, but Desai was found guilty of the death of 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana in April 2012. Desai could face an additional murder charge because of Washington's death.

"My decision is going to be based on what is in the best interest of this community, whether to file additional charges or not," District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

The charges stemmed from infections of seven people at Desai's Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada.

Lawyers for both men say they plan to appeal.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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