Dipak Desai Exculpated on Murder Charge, Other Charges Stay
In 2015, Dr. Desai’s attorney filed an appeal for scheduling oral arguments due to the number and complexity of the issues raised during the trial, to the length of the sentence, and the high degree of public interest in this case.
In April 2016, The Nevada Supreme Court heard arguments from Dr. Desai’s then attorney Ms. Franny Forsman, however, it took Supreme Court over a year to decide.
In April, Dr. Desai who was convicted of murder and criminally neglecting patients died in prison. In May 2017, Dr. Dipak Desai’s wife Dr. Kusum Desai was appointed as the personal representative of Dr. Dipak Desai for prosecuting appeal which was still pending before the Nevada Supreme Court.
At the time of his death, Dr. Desai was serving life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years for his conviction of multiple charges including insurance fraud, bodily harm, criminal neglect of patients, and second-degree murder.
The jury convicted Dr. Desai of nine counts of insurance fraud, seven counts of substantial bodily harm, seven counts of criminal neglect of patients, collectively characterized by the court as the endangerment crimes. Dr. Desai was also convicted on two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses, and second-degree murder.
However, on the charges of second-degree murder, the court reverses Desai’s second-degree conviction as the State presented insufficient evidence as there were intervening causes between Desai’s actions and the victim’s death. The Judge wrote that the patient Rodolfo Meana did not die as an immediate and direct consequence of Desai’s actions. In between Meana refused medical treatment that may have cured the disease that caused his death.
Judge Hardesty wrote that because the State presented sufficient evidence to show that Desai acted with awareness of the reckless or negligent conduct in the endangerment crimes for which he was convicted. The court affirms his convictions for those crimes. There was sufficient evidence to show that Desai intended to aid and abet in the endangerment crimes.
The final opinion is written by the Supreme Court Judge James Hardesty and concurred by four of the other six Supreme Court judges.