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Jury selection starts in Vegas hepatitis C trial

Jury selection starts in Vegas hepatitis C trial

CREATED Apr 22, 2013

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Jury selection has begun in Las Vegas in the long-delayed criminal trial of a former endoscopy clinic owner and an employee accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C during outpatient procedures in 2007.

Lawyers for former Dr. Dipak Desai also made another request Monday for the state Supreme Court to halt trial.

They say Desai is incapacitated by strokes and can't assist in his defense.

The 63-year-old Desai and 65-year-old Ronald Ernest Lakeman have pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, fraud and criminal neglect of patients.

Lakeman was a nurse-anesthetist at a Desai clinic where prosecutors allege Desai pinched pennies so much that unsafe practices spread incurable liver disease to seven patients.

Jury selection could take up to two weeks, and trial could take another six weeks.