Lawyer: Grand Jury Investigating Hepatitis C Death

LAS VEGAS -- The attorney for one of the nurses facing felony neglect and fraud charges in connection with the 2007 hepatitis C outbreak at an endoscopy clinic confirmed that his client and two others are now the targets of a grand jury murder investigation.

Attorney Rick Santacrouce, who represents nurse Ronald Lakeman, confirmed the investigation Wednesday afternoon. The other nurse is Keith Mathahs.

In April, Rodolfo T. Meana, 77, of Las Vegas, died from complications of hepatitis C that he allegedly contracted while a patient of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

Before Meana's death, he testified via video against Dr. Dipak Desai, the center's owner. Desai is accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak by allegedly reusing syringes and vials on multiple patients. The Southern Nevada Health District linked nine hepatitis cases to Desai's clinics.

The attorneys for Desai and Mathahs have not responded to calls for comment.

The three defendants are due in court in October to face the felony charges.


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