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May 25, 2015

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Lawyer asks high court to halt Las Vegas hepatitis C trial

Dr. Dipak Desai Hearing - Oct. 11, 2011

Dr. Dipak Desai appears in court for a competency hearing Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. Launch slideshow »

A lawyer for former endoscopy clinic owner Dipak Desai wants the Nevada Supreme Court to halt jury selection in the criminal case stemming from a 2007 Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak.

Attorney Richard Wright filed an emergency request Monday with the state high court.

He argues that Desai is incapacitated by strokes and other physical ailments and can't assist in his defense.

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

Lakeman was a nurse-anesthesist at a Desai clinic where health officials in February 2008 notified more than 50,000 patients to be tested for hepatitis and HIV.

Authorities determined that nine people contracted incurable hepatitis C at Desai clinics. One later died.

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