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A traveling medical technician who stole painkillers and infected dozens of patients in multiple states with hepatitis C ...
through tainted syringes was sentenced Monday to 39 years in prison. (Dec. 2)
Tags:ap,AP News,Associated Press,hepatitis c case,hepatitis c technician,Barry Grissom,david kwiatkowski,Eleanor Murphy,john kacavas,Judge Joseph Laplante
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SHOTLIST:AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYConcord, New Hampshire - 2 December 20131. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) John Kacavas / U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire: "The 39-year sentence in federal prison that was imposed today ensures that this serial infector no longer is in a position to do harm to innocent and vulnerable people, and it extinguishes once and for all the pernicious threat that this serial infector posed to public health and safety."2. Black3. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) John Kacavas / U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire: "As a traveler, the defendant worked in no fewer than eight states, and he engaged in either drug diversion and/or tampering in each of them. But his unconscionable conduct only came to light when several unexplained cases of hepatitis C were detected at the Exeter Hospital here in New Hampshire in May of 2012."4. Black5. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) John Kacavas / U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire: "To all those victims and their families, I want to say emphatically that I understand that no term of incarceration can restore them to their former health, no term of incarceration can restore their relations to their families, to their friends, those have been altered forever. No sentence of incarceration can take away their insecurity or undo the bewildering unfairness of what has happened to them, but I hope, I fervently hope, that bringing this defendant to swift and certain justice gives them some peace of mind as they confront the uncertainty of life with hepatitis C."6. Black7. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Barry Grissom / U.S. Attorney for Kansas"We were in court today and we heard defense counsel _ and I'll be respectful to differ with defense counsel _ say that this individual was not a monster. In fact, he is a monster. Not only do we have victims who now carry hepatitis C, but the victimization of those individuals extends to their families, their loved ones and even their communities. ."STORYLINE:A traveling medical technician who stole painkillers and infected dozens of patients in multiple states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes was sentenced Monday to 39 years in prison."I don't blame the families for hating me," David Kwiatkowski said after hearing about 20 statements from people he infected and their relatives. "I hate myself."Kwiatkowski, 34, was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in 2011. He had moved from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft. Since his arrest last year, 46 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said the sentence "ensures that this serial infector no longer is in a position to do harm to innocent and vulnerable people."Kwiatkowski admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges.Before he was sentenced, Kwiatkowski stood and faced his victims, saying he was very sorry and that his crimes were caused by an addiction to painkillers and alcohol. He told investigators he had been stealing drugs since at least 2003 and swapping syringes since at least 2008."There's no excuse for what I've done," he said. "I know the pain and suffering I have caused."Prosecutors asked for a 40-year sentence. Judge Joseph Laplante said he cut the last year as a reminder that some people have the capacity for mercy and compassion. "It's important for you to recognize and remember as you spend the next 39 years in prison to focus on the one year you didn't get and try to develop that capacity in yourself," Laplante said. The victims spoke angrily and tearfully of the pain that Kwiatkowski had inflicted by giving them hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can cause liver disease and chronic health problems. Authorities say the disease played a role in one woman's death.Prosecutors said Kwiatkowski deserved 40 years for creating a "national public health crisis," putting a significant number of people at risk and caused substantial physical and emotional harm to a large number of victims. Defense lawyers argued that a 30-year sentence would better balance the seriousness of the crimes against Kwiatkowski's mental and emotional problems and his addiction to drugs and alcohol, which they said clouded his judgment.In all, 32 patients were infected in New Hampshire, seven in Maryland, six in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania. Though prosecutors have not included the Pennsylvania case in their count, a spokeswoman for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has repeatedly said the hospital had one confirmed case. Kwiatkowski also worked in Michigan, New York, Arizona and Georgia.Two of the 16 charges stem from the case of Eleanor Murphy, a Kansas woman who has since died. Authorities say hepatitis C played a contributing role.