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Inside the jury room: Jurors share how & why they chose to convict a North Texas doctor of poisoning patients

Inside the jury room: Jurors share how & why they chose to convict a North Texas doctor of poisoning
Inside the jury room: Jurors share how & why they chose to convict a North Texas doctor of poisoning 06:44

DALLAS — They found him guilty – now four jurors are explaining how they were convinced to convict Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz. The Dallas anesthesiologist poisoned patients' IV bags at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas in 2022, nearly killing at least four people.

Madison Lee, Sofia de la Garza, Valerie Medina and John Patterson say they had never served on a jury before landing in the middle of a federal criminal case. 

"I was like for sure I'm not getting picked," said Medina. 

"They were like, 'Okay, you're picked, let's start opening statements, we're getting started,' and I was like, oh! I wasn't ready for this," said Lee.

The attorneys presented dozens of medical records, expert testimony, and surveillance video from several days at the Surgicare Center in north Dallas. 

"On the front cover of my notebook throughout the day, I would write questions," said Patterson. "And as they would answer I would just cross those off."

"It's hard," said de la Garza. "It's medicine, something we don't know a lot about, but both the prosecution and defense offered a lot of information."

All four agreed that the most compelling evidence was a surveillance video showing Ortiz handling vials and syringes. 

"That was such a like, 'wow' moment," said Medina. "We were all like, wow, what really can you be doing?"

Surveillance video shows Ortiz handling vials and syringes by CBS TEXAS on YouTube

They also mentioned the video of Ortiz lingering outside the IV bag storage area and the anesthesia records for the patients who experienced cardiac emergencies. "We were able to look at the video, look at the anesthesia report, and then do our timeline on the whiteboard," said Patterson. "So we were able to see all three at the same time and walk ourselves through that whole process."

The defense attorneys impressed the jury with the way they tried to poke holes in the prosecution's theories, but several of them wished Ortiz had taken the stand to explain his actions. "I just really wish we could have heard from him," said Lee.

After eight days of testimony, deliberations began. According to de la Garza, jurors held a "mini-trial" during deliberations, going back through each case and putting together the pieces. She said in the original vote, one person chose "not guilty." The next morning, when deliberations resumed, two more people expressed doubts.

"They were still leaning more towards guilty," said Lee. "But they still wanted to go through the process thoroughly to make sure they were making the right decision."

Each juror interviewed by CBS News Texas said that any one piece of evidence on its own would not have been enough to convict, but all of the pieces together painted a picture that was too strong to ignore.

After about six hours of deliberations over two days, all 12 jurors voted to find Ortiz guilty. It's a decision this group said it did not take lightly.

"I mean, we're looking at this man and seeing how our decision affects him, but his decision affected all the people we heard testimony from," said de la Garza. "It's hard, but sometimes doing the right thing is hard, and that's what we had to do."

Ortiz is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22.

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