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Doctor Who Treated First Dallas Ebola Patient Acknowledges Errors Were Made

The doctor who sent the first patient with Ebola home instead of diagnosing him with the deadly virus is making his first public comments.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The doctor who missed the diagnosis of the first Dallas Ebola patient speaks out; will Eric Williams get life in prison or the death penalty?; arrests made overnight in a crime spree; and more.

The doctor who sent the first Dallas patient with Ebola home instead of diagnosing him with the deadly virus is making his first public comments. Dr. Joseph Howard Meier issued a written statement to The Dallas Morning News. Thomas Eric Duncan showed up at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas in late September. Duncan eventually returned to the hospital feeling very sick – and eventually died. Meier told The News the experience was “a little bit like getting struck by lightning, but mild in comparison to what Mr. Duncan’s family has gone through in losing a loved one to Ebola.” The News reports: “Meier acknowledged the missed diagnosis, but he said his care was appropriate given what he knew then. ‘As medical professionals we aspire to perfection in the diagnosis and treatment of all our patients and have regrets when an incorrect diagnosis occurs.’” Meier also said he wasn't aware that Duncan had a temperature of 103 degrees and that “20/20 hindsight is not available to medical professionals caring for patients in real time.” Read KERA’s Ebola in Dallas coverage here.

  • Jurors are considering life in prison or the death penalty for a former justice of the peace convicted of killing a Kaufman County prosecutor's wife. The trial of Eric Williams enters the punishment phase Monday in Rockwall. Williams was convicted Thursday of capital murder in a revenge plot against a Kaufman County district attorney, his wife and a top assistant. Williams was found guilty in the March 2013 fatal shooting of Cynthia McLelland. Her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, was also found slain at their home. Williams is also charged with killing assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse in January 2013. [Associated Press]

  • Greg Abbott, the governor-elect, isn’t endorsing any of the Texas Republicans who might be running for president. The Texas Tribune reports: “Abbott on Sunday declined to throw his support behind any of the Texas Republicans rumored to be considering a run for the White House in 2016, including Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Abbott would only say he would support the candidate the GOP decides to put forth. He also reiterated his belief that Texas has standing to sue the Obama administration following last month’s executive action on immigration.”

  • Three people were arrested overnight after a crime spree across North Texas. WFAA-TV reports it began with a home invasion at 9 p.m. Sunday when four men with “handguns and ski masks knocked on the door and forced their way into the home while a family of six was inside.” Police on Monday morning were looking for a fourth suspect. One person was arrested at the scene. The others ran away on foot and were involved in a carjacking in Lewisville, WFAA reports. “They traveled to Carrollton in the stolen car, where two of them were arrested by police. Two guns were recovered from the vehicle,” the station says.

  • TCU and Baylor didn’t make the first College Football Playoff. Alabama was No. 1; Oregon was No. 2; Florida State was No. 3 and Ohio State was No. 4. Baylor had hired a PR firm to try to boost its chances. That didn’t help much. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “Some have suggested that it’s the losses is what separates the three: TCU is the only team to have lost to a ranked opponent, 61-58 to Baylor. Ohio State was easily beaten by unranked Virginia Tech, 35-21, and Baylor was manhandled by then-unranked West Virginia, 41-27.” ESPN reports: “The Horned Frogs, ranked No. 3 in the previous rankings, dropped to No. 6, behind Florida State, Ohio State and Big 12 rival Baylor. Without Baylor and TCU in the College Football Playoff, the Big 12 loses out on $6 million for having one team in the playoff field.”

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.