New information was released regarding the person who was suspected of murdering at least 8 patients at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg.
The court documents show that Reta Mays has plead guilty to 7 counts of second-degree murder and the attempted murder of another patient which all took place between 2017 and 2018.
Autopsies showed that the victims were given a lethal amount of insulin. Each victim was on the road to recovery for various ailments before suddenly taking a turn for the worse, leaving families broken and confused. The suspicious deaths led families to investigate the cause of their loved ones' deaths when the autopsy report revealed the grizzly details. Patients suffered hypoglycemia, seizures, coma, and then death at the hands of their trusted caretaker.
At least 26 family members attended Tuesday’s hearing, filling the small West Virginia courtroom. Numerous others watched the proceedings via an internet stream made available because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The victims were all more than 80 years old, and included individuals who served in the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II.
Mays, 45, spoke little during the hearing but tearfully acknowledged her guilt multiple times. She told the judge she is currently taking medication for post-traumatic stress disorder, but did not offer any more details of that diagnosis.
Records show that Mays offered no other motive to why she injected her victims with a fatal dose of insulin.
The case is far from over as questions still remain as to what amount of blame is due to hospital administrators. Families of the soldiers threw up red flags at the hospital early on but Mays was allowed to continue for some time before being placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
The courts intend to get to the bottom of Mays' possible motives while the courts determine exactly how many victims Mays might have had.
What investigators have uncovered is mind-blowing. While attempting to review surveillance footage and drug logs for the insulin used, investigators found that both were non-existent. Where hospitals are required to keep logs of every drug administered, authorities found that there were not consistent logs on insulin.
What's even more disturbing is the fact there the wing in question didn't have adequate camera coverage of that floor, which makes the crime extremely easy to commit.
According to USA Today, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the agency is reviewing staffing levels and whether more can be done to prevent similar incidents. He called the string of deaths a "national tragedy."
By the time hospital officials notified authorities in June 2018, there had been at least eight suspicious deaths, and veterans had been embalmed and buried, destroying potential evidence. In one case, a veteran had been cremated.
In the case of 82-year-old Felix "Kirk" McDermott, no autopsy had been performed and there was no indication in medical records reviewed by USA TODAY that doctors ordered key blood tests that could have detected the unprescribed insulin investigators now suspect was coursing through his veins.
A doctor did order those blood tests in another case – that of George Nelson Shaw who died the day after McDermott, on April 10.
Shaw, 81, had been admitted in March after feeling tired and dehydrated. Four days later, on the morning of March 26, his blood sugar crashed, records show.
Between 7:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m., his blood-sugar ranged from 17 to 30 milligrams per deciliter, less than half the level requiring immediate medical attention. Then, shortly after 9 a.m., blood tests for insulin and a key protein showed both within a normal range, records show.
Then about a month later, two more veteran's bodies who died in a similar fashion were exhumed. It was later determined that both died from acute low blood sugar from too much insulin. One man had 4 different injection sites on his body. All 4 locations tested positive for insulin.
I think we seriously need to do something about the mental health of people in our country. There are far too many sickos out there.
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