Former VA Staffer Killed 7 Vets With Insulin

Reta Mays pleads guilty in West Virginia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2020 2:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – A former nursing assistant at a VA hospital in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to murdering seven elderly veterans and attempting to kill an eighth. The vets were given insulin injections that led to fatal blood sugar crashes; the victims were largely either not diabetic, or not in need of insulin. Reta Mays, 46, was arrested after authorities noticed an "unusual" number of deaths from severe hypoglycemia in the area between July 2017 and June 2018, NBC News reports. "She denied it for a long time until most recently when she finally recognized the strength of our case," a US attorney says.

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No motive has become clear, but the Washington Post reports that at the hearing Tuesday, Mays, an Army National Guard veteran who was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in the early 2000s, told the judge she was on medication for post-traumatic stress disorder. She was hired at Louis A. Johnson Medical Center in Clarksburg in 2015 and fired last year, seven months after being removed from patient care. With her position on the night shift, few saw her at work. She had no certification or license to care for patients and was not authorized to administer insulin; the hospital has come under fire as well for the way the situation played out. Prosecutors are seeking seven consecutive life sentences plus an additional 20-year prison term, NPR reports. (Read more murder stories.)

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