Man who worked at Kansas hospital and infected patients with hepatitis C denied release


FILE – This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire shows David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at an Exeter, N.H., hospital. Kwiatkowski who was sentenced to 39 years in prison for infecting patients in multiple states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes has asked a federal judge to vacate his sentence, saying his lawyer was ineffective in representing him. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney’s Office, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP & KSNW) — A former traveling medical technician who stole drugs and infected more than 40 patients with hepatitis C will remain in prison after a New Hampshire judge called his request for compassionate release “the least meritorious” he’d ever seen.

David Kwiatkowski was sentenced in 2013 to 39 years in prison for stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He was employed at medical facilities in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and New Hampshire.

At a hearing Thursday, a judge denied his request to be released from a federal prison in Florida, saying even if medical issues put him at high risk for COVID-19, releasing him early would undermine respect for the law.

Kwiatkowski worked at Hays Medical Center in June 2010 when he learned he was infected with hepatitis C according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Despite that knowledge, he continued to inject himself using stolen Fentanyl syringes, in the process causing those syringes to become tainted with his infected blood. He refilled those tainted syringes with saline and replaced them for use on unsuspecting patients undergoing subsequent procedures.

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