Former Nursing Assistant Pleads Guilty To Murdering 7 Veterans With Insulin

Reta Mays killed seven elderly patients with the hormone while working at a West Virginia VA medical center.

July 16, 2020

Reta Mays [West Virginia Jail and Correctional Facility Authority]

Reta Mays [West Virginia Jail and Correctional Facility Authority]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A former nursing assistant pleaded guilty on July 14 to murdering multiple veterans at a West Virginia medical center by injecting them with lethal doses of insulin.

Between 2017 and 2018, Reta Mays, 46, was working the night shift at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg when she administered the hormone to eight elderly patients, causing seven to die after their blood sugar levels plummeted, USA Today reported.

Authorities officially launched a criminal investigation in June 2018 after a doctor reported his concern about the suspicious deaths of 10 older vets, including one who had no history of diabetes but died from an unexplained hypoglycemic episode, prosecutors said.

Mays was quickly identified as a person of interest in the case and fired from the hospital the following month.

She was not qualified or authorized to administer medication, and she was charged with seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder, legal documents state.

Bill Powell, U.S. attorney in West Virginia, said Mays previously had denied she was responsible for the deaths but, in the face of mounting evidence, she recently admitted her guilt to all eight charges against her.

“The VA hospital in Clarksburg had a frightening number of system failures that allowed this person to kill as many people as she did," Tony O'Dell, who represents some of the victims’ families, said in a statement. “The fact that the related deaths continued to pile up shows a complete lack of competence and a total lack of human caring.”

Mays’ motives for committing the murders is reportedly still unclear.

Her sentencing date has not been set, but prosecutors have requested she serve seven consecutive life sentences plus an additional 20-year term.