Pros­e­cu­tors ex­pect to charge Ger­man nurse with more killings

Sun.Star Pampanga - - HEALTHNEWS! -


(AP) -- Ger­man of­fi­cials ex­pect to bring new charges against a nurse al­ready serv­ing a life sen­tence for two mur­ders af­ter de­ter­min­ing that he might have killed an­other 84 pa­tients, if not more, a pros­e­cu­tor said Tues­day.

Olden­burg state pros­e­cu­tor Martin Kozi­olek said he ex­pected his of­fice would be bring­ing more charges by early 2018 against in­mate Niels Hoegel, who gave pa­tients over­doses of heart med­i­ca­tion and other drugs be­cause he en­joyed the feel­ing of be­ing able to re­sus­ci­tate them.

Ad­di­tional con­vic­tions could af­fect Hoegel's pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role, but there are no con­sec­u­tive sen­tences in Ger­many.

More than that, bring­ing ad­di­tional cases to trial would help de­ter­mine ex­actly what hap­pened in those killings and pro­vide some clo­sure for fam­i­lies, Kozi­olek said.

"These were not all ter­mi­nally ill peo­ple," he said. "Many were on their way to re­cov­ery."

He de­clined to give the ages of the vic­tims or any other de­tails about them, cit­ing Ger­man pri­vacy reg­u­la­tions.

Hoegel, now 40, was con­victed in 2015 of two mur­ders and two at­tempted mur­ders at a hos­pi­tal in the north­west­ern town of Del­men­horst and was sen­tenced to life in prison.

Dur­ing his trial, Hoegel had said he in­ten­tion­ally brought about car­diac crises in some 90 pa­tients in Del­men­horst by giv­ing them over­doses. He later told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he also killed pa­tients in a hos­pi­tal in nearby Olden­burg.

Hoegel worked at the Olden­burg hos­pi­tal from 1999 to 2002 and in Del­men­horst from 2003 to 2005.

As part of a wider in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing both hos­pi­tals, po­lice and pros­e­cu­tors re­viewed more than 500 pa­tient files and hun­dreds more hos­pi­tal records. They also ex­humed 134 bod­ies from 67 ceme­ter­ies.

They ques­tioned Hoegel six times. They said he had been will­ing to talk about the other cases and "con­fessed to a large num­ber" of them, but that "in most cases, he couldn't con­cretely re­mem­ber ma­nip­u­lat­ing treat­ment, but he also didn't rule it out."

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