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Hepatitis C Defendant Takes Plea Offer

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LAS VEGAS CBS KXNT- One of three co-defendants in the prosecution of clinic owner Dr. Dipak Desai in the criminally negligent infection of patients with Hepatitis C has taken a plea agreement.  An attorney for former nurse Keith Mathahs says the man and his family can no longer endure the stress of the legal proceedings.

“The benefit of a plea negotiation outweighed the costs associated with going to trial,” attorney Michael Cristalli told KXNT on Monday.

Mathis is nearly 77 years old, Cristalli said.  Even a partial conviction at trial would have meant, effectively, spending the remainder of his life in jail.

He will now testify against Desai and another co-defendant, and will face a sentence ranging from probation to  72 months in prison.

Prosecutors will drop a murder charge against Mathahs that was added to the 28-count indictment after one of the infected patients died earlier this year.

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