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"Guilty on all counts": The evidence jurors say proved a Dallas doctor poisoned patients

The evidence jurors say proved a Dallas doctor poisoned patients
The evidence jurors say proved a Dallas doctor poisoned patients 02:39

DALLAS – Jurors who found a Dallas doctor guilty of tampering with IV bags say they were left with no doubt of his guilt. 

They reached a verdict just after noon Friday, convicting Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz on all 10 counts against him.

Sitting in the gallery, John Kaspar, whose wife died, cried as the judge read the verdict. Others hugged, clapped, or raced for the doors to share the news.

"It's almost like you have so many emotions you can't even sift them out," said Kaspar.

He watched his wife, Dr. Melanie Kaspar, scream in agony as she died, after she started an IV for herself with a bag she'd brought home from work.

"There's no closure. You know, my best friend is gone," he said.

Federal prosecutors say the bag Kaspar used was among more than a dozen Ortiz injected with nerve blocking agents and other drugs.

US Attorney Leigha Simonton said Ortiz left the bags in a communal storage warmer like "ticking timebombs."

They went off, she says, in 11 patients who were receiving low-risk routine surgeries at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare in North Dallas in the summer of 2022 causing life-threatening cardiac emergencies.

Ortiz's motive has never been perfectly clear, but prosecutors believe he was angry he was being investigated for errors in his own surgeries.  They've suggested he wanted to cause problems for other doctors, too, to make himself look better by comparison.

Ortiz was tried on charges related to four patients – men and women ranging in age from 18 to 78.

It was in their cases surveillance cameras captured Dr Ortiz placing the IV bags, returning to check on them, and even loading syringes with a cocktail of drugs he was injecting them with.

"The videos of him putting the different medications into the syringes, and that's what did it. Yeah," said juror Penny Rotenberry.

" And, how the video timestamps added up with the anesthesia records. It was all correlated," added fellow juror Madison Lee.

The jurors say they spent hours in deliberation reviewing all the evidence.

"They gave us the bags and we were able to see everything, see the holes. That was probably the biggest piece to me," said Dominique Alcantar, who also served on the jury. "You could feel the puncture from the back."

Ortiz, who wore a mask throughout most of the trial, had no visible reaction to the verdict.

His cousin, Luis Ortiz, told us he'd gone into court confident he would prevail.

"Unfortunately, it went the other way," said Luis.

"He thought he would be found not guilty?" he was asked.

"Correct," he responded.

Jurors, though, said the evidence left them convinced Ortiz is guilty.

"You needed the full puzzle and that's... we got it," said Rotenberry.

Ortiz has yet to be sentenced. That will be handled at a later date by the judge. He faces up to 190 years in prison. In other words, life.

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