Former Nursing Assistant Receives Life Sentence for Killing 7 Veterans

The former nursing assistant admitted to intentionally injecting seven elderly men with insulin they didn’t need, causing their blood sugar to plummet.

Former Nursing Assistant Receives Life Sentence for Killing 7 Veterans

Clarksburg, West Virginia — Reta Mays, 46, a former nursing assistant at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for murdering seven elderly veterans who were patients at the hospital.

Last year she pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder, reports CBS News. Mays admitted to intentionally injecting seven men with insulin they didn’t need, causing their blood sugar to plummet.

The deaths happened in 2017 and 2018 and there were about 20 suspicious deaths that occurred at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center at the time that Mays worked there. However, the government only brought charges on the cases where prosecutors believed they had enough evidence for a conviction.

In an interview after her guilty plea, Mays said she administered the insulin to patients she thought were suffering so they could die “gently,” reports CBS News. She also admitted that administering the insulin gave her a sense of control over her life, which she said was chaotic at the time. The former nursing assistant also has a history of mental and physical health problems.

However, before her pleas, she lied three times to investigators. Mays also watched the Netflix show “Nurses Who Kill” and researched “female serial killers” to compare her murder tally with other female murderers.

An investigation into the deaths was opened by VA Inspector General Michael Missal in July 2018. Mays was moved to a desk job, but the hospital did not fire her for another seven months. She was eventually fired for lying on her resume. She claimed to be certified as a nursing assistant but was not, according to a person close to the case.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh called Mays a monster of the “worst kind. You are the monster no one sees coming,” he said, reports USA Today.

She is not eligible for probation, and she must pay restitution to the victims’ families.

The men Mays was convicted of killing were Robert Edge Sr., 82; Archie D. Edgell, 84; Raymond Golden, 88; William Holloway, 96; Robert Lee Kozul Sr., 89; Felix Kirk McDermott, 82; and George Nelson Shaw Sr., 81.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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