July 15 (UPI) — A former nursing aide at a West Virginia Veterans Affairs medical facility pleaded guilty Tuesday after being charged in a series of patient deaths.
Reta Mays, 46, pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder in connection with the deaths of seven veterans who died after being injected with insulin.
Court documents identified the victims as Robert Edge Sr., Robert Kozul George Shaw, W.A.H., Felix McDermott and Raymond Golden.
Prosecutors requested that Mays serve seven consecutive life sentences and an additional 20-year prison term.
As part of the plea agreement, May waived her ability to appeal her case and conviction or be released on parole.
While working the night shift in a ward that housed many patients with diabetes, Mays was accused of “willfully,” “deliberately” and maliciously” administering insulin to patients who were not prescribed it.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaro Douglas said in court Tuesday that by injecting these patients with insulin, May caused their blood sugar to drop to deadly levels.
Seven of the patients died shortly after being injected and an eighth patient was injected with insulin but hospital staff were able to stabilize him, although he died two weeks later.
Families of the victims also filed a wrongful death suit, stating employees of the VA Medical Center were either aware, or should have been aware of the unprescribed insulin injections and that the hospital failed to thoroughly investigate the deaths.
Mays told U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleech that though she earned 80 hours of college credit, she never held a professional license.