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September 1, 2014

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Court deals setback to Desai in murder case

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Sam Morris

Dipak Desai enters court for a competency proceeding Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. A psychiatrist testified Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, that he thinks Desai is competent to stand trial and was exaggerating the extent of his memory loss.

The Nevada Supreme Court has denied the pretrial petition of Dr. Dipak Desai, accused of second-degree murder in the death of one of his patients in the 2007 hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas.

Desai argued the grand jury indictment was defective, that the district attorney’s office improperly instructed the grand jurors and that the jury was not properly impaneled.

The indictment charged Desai was the direct and immediate cause of the victim’s death.

Desai, who surrendered his medical license in 2010, complained the indictment improperly charged him with being indirectly responsible for the death of Rodolfo Meana, 77, who died last year of apparent complications from hepatitis C.

The Supreme Court in December dismissed a racketeering charge against Desai but permitted a number of other counts to stand.

Desai and his assistants were accused of reusing syringes and vials in endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures at his Endoscopy Center. Seven patients contracted the hepatitis.

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