DALLAS - A federal judge has ruled the doctor accused of poisoning 11 patients and a doctor at the surgical center where he worked will remain in custody while he awaits trial.
Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz's defense team filed a motion for the judge to reconsider his detention.
Prosecutors argued their video evidence of Dr. Ortiz placing IV bags into a warmer again and again at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas does not leave any room for doubt about what he did.
Prosecutors say 11 patients suffered cardiac emergencies and Dr. Melanie Kaspar was killed as a result of Dr. Ortiz inserting dangerous drugs into the bags.
Prosecutors wrote in a motion filed this week, "the defense incorrectly attempts to downplay the government’s case as built on ‘inferences’ but it ignores the fact that Ortiz was caught redhanded on video inexplicably placing IV bags in the facility’s warmer minutes before nurses took bags out of the exact same location and then patients who were administered those bags experienced severe medical emergencies a short time after that."
In a previous news interview from jail, Dr. Ortiz claimed there was no video of him getting the drugs in question out of a medicine cabinet.
Friday, prosecutors played a video they say supports their claim. In the interview, Ortiz also tried to blame another doctor at the facility for the poisonings, but prosecutors said "the doctor he mentioned did not place IV bags in the warmer."
Jeremy Johnston, the former director of surgery at Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite, testified that Dr. Ortiz had 30 complaints against him at the hospital. He testified about one incident when Dr. Ortiz arrived late to a surgery and then yelled at him and physically confronted him in front of a patient.
The defense questioned the severity of Dr. Ortiz's previous incidents since he was allowed to continue to work at the hospital.
In the end, the judge ruled that there was clear and convincing evidence Dr. Ortiz would be a danger to co-workers and witnesses and also a flight risk if he were released.
Arguing he could be a flight risk, prosecutors also outlined unusual financial transactions at two facilities he owns: Garland Anastasia Consultants and Assured Medical Billing.