A former medical technician was sentenced to 39 years in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to infecting at least 46 people across the country with hepatitis C.
34-year-old David Kwiatkowski was arrested last year after he was linked to an outbreak of hepatitis C at New Hampshire's Exeter hospital, where Kwiatkowski had worked since 2011. (Via News Channel 8)
Kwiatkowski, who previously worked as a cardiac technologist in hospitals across eight states, admitted he often stole syringes full of painkillers to feed his drug addiction. (Via WJZ-TV)
Kwiatkowski said he then replaced the syringes with needles tainted by his own blood. Prosecutors alleged Kwiatkowski knew he was a carrier for hepatitis C, an incurable liver disease that can often prove fatal.
Kwiatkowski is believed to be responsible for hepatitis C infections in 32 patients in New Hampshire, as well as seven patients in Maryland, six in Kansas, and one in Pennsylvania. The outbreak has already led to the death of one person in Kansas.
Several of Kwiatkowski's victims turned up in the federal courthouse to witness his sentencing, among them Baltimore native Linwood Nelson.
"I want him to see my face that he'll have to remember for all the time he has to serve. Each waking moment, he will see my face. ... He has destroyed my life." (Via WHDH)
Before his sentencing, Kwiatkowski told the court "I don't blame the families for hating me. I hate myself. ... I'm sorry." (Via The Boston Globe)
Kwiatkoswki's sentence is just one year shy of the maximum forty year sentence allowed by his plea deal.