VA Hospital Serial Killer Learns Her Fate

Reta Mays sentenced to life in prison
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 12:00 AM CDT
VA Hospital Serial Killer Learns Her Fate
This photo released July 14, 2020, by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority shows Reta Mays.   (West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority via AP)

Reta Mays, the former nursing assistant who killed seven patients at a West Virginia VA hospital, was on Tuesday hit with one life sentence for each of those patients, plus 20 years for an eighth she tried to kill. She is not eligible for probation. Mays, who pleaded guilty last year and confessed to the acts, sobbed as the sentence came down, USA Today reports. She was also ordered to pay nearly $173,000 in restitution, NPR reports. The Department of Veterans Affairs says improvements have been made at the hospital since the killings, which took place between July 2017 and June 2018.

Mays, who administered lethal doses of insulin to the elderly victims, offered a brief, tearful statement. "There's no words I can say that would offer any comfort. I can only say I'm sorry for the pain I caused the families and my family," she said. "I don't ask for forgiveness, because I don't think I can forgive anyone for doing what I did." Her defense lawyer had asked for a 30-year sentence, arguing Mays suffers from PTSD and sexual trauma connected to her military service, among other things. Numerous problems were found at the VA medical center where the killings took place, and officials said more oversight could have saved lives. (Read more Department of Veterans Affairs stories.)

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