Reta Mays, a former nursing assistant at a medical center for veterans in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with the intent to commit murder.
The 46-year-old woman who appeared before a federal court on Tuesday July 14, pleaded guilty to federal murder charges in connection with a string of insulin deaths at a veterans hospital in West Virginia.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Reta Mays injected lethal doses of insulin into eight veterans at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in rural Clarksburg, causing their blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. Seven died shortly after.
Mays began working at the hospital five years ago and was assigned to work the night shift in Ward 3A. As a nursing assistant, Mays was responsible for, among other things, acting as a one-on-one sitter for patients, checking vital signs and testing blood sugar levels, but she was not qualified to administer medication, including insulin.
Bill Powell, U.S. attorney in West Virginia said at a press conference;
“Nothing we have done will bring your loved ones back. But we do hope that the work of these agents and prosecutors honored the memory of your loved ones in a way that they so justly deserved and, in some small fashion, assuage the anguish you have suffered.”
The investigation drew the interest of US Attorney General William Barr after it became public last year that at least two of the deaths had been ruled homicides.
Felix Kirk McDermott, 82, and George Nelson Shaw, Sr., 81, died in April 2018. The Army Forces medical examiner ruled that both men died by homicide by insulin injection. The other victims are Archie Edgell, 84, Robert Edge, Sr., 82, Robert Kozul, 89, Raymond Golden, 88, and one identified in charging documents as W.A.H.
A sentencing date for Mays has not yet been set. She previously worked as a correctional officer in West Virginia and at a privately-owned home care company based in Kentucky.