Pennsylvania nurse sentenced to life for intentionally injecting excessive doses of insulin into 22 patients killing three .

Friday, May 3, 2024
 -A former Pennsylvania nurse has been sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting she intentionally injected nearly two dozen of her patients with excessive doses of insulin, killing three of them.

Heather Pressdee was sentenced on Thursday in a Butler county state courthouse near Pittsburgh, where nearly 40 of her victims’ family members spoke about how her crimes upended their lives, according to a news release that prosecutors issued at the conclusion of a case that highlights how frighteningly vulnerable patients can be in healthcare settings.

Elizabeth Simons Ozella – whose mother, Irene Simons, was one of the deadly overdose victims – said she would “never forgive [Pressdee] for what she did”, the local television news station WTAE reported. “She took someone from this earth that she had no right to take, and she played God when she didn’t have that right.”

Melinda Brown, whose brother Nicholas Cymbol also died from an overdose that Pressdee acknowledged inducing, added: “She’s pure evil.”

Prosecutors who initially filed criminal charges against Pressdee in May 2023 determined that she intentionally injected a mix of lethal and potentially deadly amounts of insulin into 22 patients at five different medical facilities spread across four different Pittsburgh-area counties. The patients – whom Pressdee began attacking in 2020 – reportedly ranged in age from 43 to 104.

Pressdee, 41, avoided a trial as well as the possibility of execution by lethal injection by agreeing to plead guilty on Thursday to three charges of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.

In return, the judge presiding over her case handed her three consecutive life sentences for the murders. Pressdee was also ordered to subsequently serve another 380 to 760 years in prison for the attempted murders.

“I’m very sorry,” Pressdee said in court on Thursday, WTAE reported. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

Meanwhile, outside the courtroom on Thursday, her defense attorney, Phil DiLucente, addressed reporters and sought to assure the public of Pressdee’s regret.

“There is not all bad in everyone, and you could see at the end, she was remorseful,” DiLucente reportedly said. “There was a tear in her eyes.”

A statement attributed to Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Michelle Henry, excoriated Pressdee for exploiting “her position of trust as a means to poison patients who depended on her care”.

“This plea and life sentence will not bring back the lives lost,” Henry’s statement continued. “But it will ensure Heather Pressdee never has another opportunity to inflict further harm.”

Multiple civil court lawsuits seeking wrongful-death damages from Pressdee’s former employers in connection with her criminal case remained pending on Thursday.

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