He Was Convicted of Killing 2. Now, 97 More Possible Victims

German nurse Niels Hoegel is already serving a life sentence for 2 murders
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2018 11:44 AM CST
He Was Convicted of Killing 2. Now, 97 More Possible Victims
In this 2015 photo, former nurse Niels Hoegel covers his face with a file at the district court in Oldenburg, Germany.   (Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP, file)

(Newser) – A German nurse serving a life sentence for two murders has been charged with killing 97 more patients over several years at two hospitals in Germany, prosecutors said Monday. The new indictment against Niels Hoegel was expected after officials said in November he may have killed more than 100 patients, per the AP. He worked at an Oldenburg clinic from 1999 to 2002 and in nearby Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005. Hoegel was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders in Delmenhorst and given a life sentence. During his trial, Hoegel said he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in about 90 Delmenhorst patients because he enjoyed being able to resuscitate them. He later told authorities he also killed patients in Oldenburg. Those remarks prompted toxicological examinations on dozens of other patients.

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Prosecutor Martin Koziolek said Hoegel used a variety of drugs in his resuscitation attempts. As part of a wider investigation, cops and prosecutors reviewed more than 500 patient files and hundreds more hospital records. They also exhumed 134 bodies from 67 cemeteries and questioned Hoegel six times. Cops have said if local health officials hadn't hesitated in alerting authorities, Hoegel could have been stopped earlier. Authorities are already pursuing criminal cases against former staff at the medical facilities. It wasn't immediately clear when a new trial at the state court in Oldenburg might start. Additional convictions could affect Hoegel's possibility of parole, but there are no consecutive sentences in Germany. In general, people serving life sentences are considered for parole after 15 years.

(Read more Germany stories.)

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