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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A prominent former Las Vegas doctor and endoscopy clinic owner was convicted Monday of all 27 criminal charges against him - including second-degree murder - in a 2007 hepatitis C outbreak that officials called one of the largest ever in the U.S.

A former employee at Dipak Desai's Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada, nurse-anesthetist Ronald Lakeman, was found guilty of 16 of 27 charges against him but was spared a murder conviction stemming from the death of 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana in April 2012.

Defense attorneys for both men said they'll appeal.

Desai, a former Nevada state medical board member, surrendered his medical license, declared bankruptcy and turned over his business affairs to family members and lawyers in recent years. He stared straight ahead as the jury's verdicts were read.

His lawyers maintained that he was unfit for trial because of the effects of several strokes in recent years.

Desai's wife, Kusam, sobbed quietly and one of their adult daughters cried out as Desai and Lakeman were handcuffed and led from the courtroom to jail to await sentencing Sept. 5.

"We love you, Daddy," she said to Desai. "God is with you. Always with you."

Desai didn't appear to respond.

Desai, 63, and Lakeman, 66, face the possibility of life in prison for their multiple felony convictions.

Jurors heard more than 70 witnesses during seven weeks of testimony about a case that shocked the community when the outbreak became public in February 2008. Health officials issued advisories that led 63,000 clinic patients to get tested for potentially fatal blood-borne diseases, including hepatitis and HIV.

Investigators blamed unsafe injection practices and traced the infections of nine people to Desai clinics, although local and federal health investigators said they thought the hepatitis C infections of another 105 patients might have been related to similar practices. In those cases, however, they said they couldn't rule out other sources of infection.

The charges in Clark County District Court resulted from the infection of seven patients and bills paid by their insurers.

Prosecutors alleged that Desai and Lakeman recklessly and negligently put patients at risk with the reuse of syringes and vials of the general anesthetic propofol during procedures at a clinic where speed was emphasized over patient safety.

Health investigators testified that they believed vials became contaminated with hepatitis C virus from two different "source" patients on two dates in 2007, and that tainted anesthetic was injected into subsequent patients on those dates.

In addition to the murder charge, Desai was found guilty of seven counts of criminal neglect of patients resulting in substantial bodily harm, seven counts of reckless disregard of persons resulting in substantial bodily harm, nine counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and one felony theft charge.

Lakeman was found guilty of 16 charges including insurance fraud, criminal neglect, reckless disregard, obtaining money under false pretenses and theft. He was acquitted of 11 counts.

"I'm elated that he didn't get convicted on the murder charge," Lakeman's lawyer, Frederick Santacroce, said outside court. "I'm disappointed that he was convicted of the other charges."

Desai attorneys Richard Wright and Margaret Stanish, and prosecutors Michael Staudaher and Pamela Weckerly, declined immediate comment.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated Friday and most of the day Monday before reaching their verdict.

Another former Desai clinic nurse anesthetist, Keith Mathahs, 77, pleaded guilty in December to five felonies, including criminal neglect of patients resulting in death, insurance fraud and racketeering. He testified against Desai and Lakeman and could get probation or up to six years in state prison when he is sentenced.

The state criminal case is separate from a case pending against Desai and a former clinic business manager, Tonya Rushing, in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Desai and Rushing have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and health care fraud charges alleging they schemed to inflate anesthesia times and overbill health insurance companies. Trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 20.

The hepatitis outbreak also spawned dozens of civil lawsuits, including several that yielded jury findings holding drug manufacturers and the state's largest health management organization liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs.

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Blues Draft Four

Monday, 01 July 2013 10:25 Published in Sports

NEWARK  – The St. Louis Blues selected four total players in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark.  With their first pick overall, the Blues selected defenseman Thomas Vannelli in the second round, 47th overall.  The Blues then traded the 83rd, 94th and 113th overall picks to Edmonton in exchange for an additional second round pick (57th overall), which they used to select forward William Carrier.  In addition, the Blues sent the 203rd overall pick and a 4th round pick in 2014 to Nashville in exchange for a fourth round pick (112th overall), which they used to draft St. Louis native, foward Zach Pochiro.  With their final pick, the Blues drafted defenseman Santeri Saari in the sixth round, 173rd overall.

Vannelli, 18, split last season between Minnetonka of the Minnesota High School League (MSHSL) and Team USA (U-18) of the United States Hockey League (USHL), leading Minnetonka defensemen with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 25 games while recording two points (one goal, one assist) in 14 games with Team USA.   In addition, Vannelli appeared in five games during the 2012 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp registering six points (one goal, five assists) in six games.  In 2011-12, the Minneapolis, Minnesota native also led Minnetonka defensemen with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 28 games.  The 6’2”, 165-pound defenseman was ranked 44thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Carrier, 18, has spent the past three seasons with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles including 2012-13, when he led the club as an Assistant Captain with 42 points including 16 goals and 26 assists to go along with 41 penalty minutes in 34 games.  In addition, Carrier served as the lone representative for his team at the 2012 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Canada-Russia Super Series, appearing in two games.  In 2011-12, the 6’2, 198-pound forward finished second on the team with 70 points including 27 goals and 43 assists to go along with 65 penalty minutes in 66 games.  Carrier also helped Team Canada earn the Bronze Medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship, dressing in all seven games.  In 2010-11, his QMJHL rookie season, Carrier posted 12 points including eight goals and four assists as well as 54 penalty minutes in 61 games.  The La Salle, Quebec native was ranked 18thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
      Pochiro, 19, appeared in 65 games for the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars in 2012-13, ranking third on the club with 39 points including 15 goals and 24 assists while leading the Cougars with 105 penalty minutes.  In 2011-12, the 6’1, 161-pound forward dressed in 52 games for the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Wichita Falls Wildcats, leading the club with 34 points including 18 goals and 16 assists to go along with 154 penalty minutes.  A native of St. Louis, Pochiro was ranked 173rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Saari, 18, dressed in 46 games for Jokerit Jr. of the Finland-Jr. League in 2012-13, posting 23 points including five goals and 18 assists to go along with 34 penalty minutes.  In addition, the 6’2, 191-pound defenseman dressed in seven games with K-Vantaa of the Finland-2 League as well as two games with Jokerit Helsinki of Finland’s SM-liiga.  In 2011-12, Saari appeared in 13 games with Jokerit Jr. logging four points (two goals, two assists) and 10 penalty minutes while also registering 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) and 48 penalty minutes in 33 games with Jokerit U-18 of the Finland-Jr. U-18 League.  The Helsinki, Finland native was ranked 116th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Williams loses to Lisicki in Wimbledon stunner

Monday, 01 July 2013 10:02 Published in Sports

LONDON (AP) -- Add Serena Williams to the list of big names eliminated early at this wild and unpredictable Wimbledon.

The defending champion failed to close out a see-saw third set Monday, dropping the last four games against Sabine Lisicki of Germany to lose 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round and end her career-best 34-match winning streak.

"I'm still shaking," Lisicki said in a post-match interview, covering her face with her hands to wipe away tears. "I'm just so happy."

It was the latest in a string of upsets that has jolted the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days - along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka on the women's side.

Williams looked to be cruising after dropping the first set, winning nine straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the third. The players then traded breaks to give Williams a 4-2 lead, but the American couldn't win another game - despite having four break points at 4-3.

Those would have given her a chance to serve for the match. Instead, Lisicki held, broke again, and converted her second match point with a forehand winner.

Lisicki reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2011 but this will rank as arguably her biggest victory at the grass-court Grand Slam. It was also the fourth straight time Lisicki has eliminated the reigning French Open champion during her Wimbledon run, having missed the tournament in 2010.

"Serena played a fantastic match," Lisicki said. "She's such a tough opponent. Just an amazing feeling to win this match."

Britain's Laura Robson also lost. She couldn't recover from her missed chances in the first set and fell 7-6 (5), 7-5 to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, failing to become the first British woman in the quarters of any Grand Slam since 1984. Kanepi will face Lisicki in the quarterfinals.

Former champion Petra Kvitova and No. 4 David Ferrer also advanced. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Andy Murray, about the only pre-tournament favorites still standing, played their fourth-round matches later.

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