CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP/KDKA) — Lawyers are asking to delay the sentencing of a former staffer at a veterans hospital in West Virginia who pleaded guilty to intentionally killing seven patients with fatal doses of insulin.
Attorneys for Reta Mays, 46, filed a motion asking that her sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 18-19, be put off until mid-May because of concerns about the coronavirus, The Exponent Telegram reported. Prosecutors are opposing the request, citing the rights of the victims “to a reasonably prompt conclusion” to the case.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccine In Pittsburgh: CVS Receiving More Doses Of The Vaccine
Mays, a former nursing assistant at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, was charged with seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with the intent to commit murder of an eighth person. She admitted in July to purposely killing the veterans, injecting them with unprescribed insulin while she worked overnight shifts at the hospital in northern West Virginia between 2017 and 2018.
One of the victims was a retired Army sergeant from Westmoreland County, 82-year-old Felix McDermott. He died in April 2018. Officials said he received insulin before his death, even though he was not diabetic.
Mays faces life sentences for each murder.
Defense attorneys say the jail where Mays is detained is raging with virus cases and they aren’t willing to go inside to meet with her, which is necessary before sentencing. Their motion says they expect the situation to be better by spring as the availability of vaccinations for the virus becomes widespread.READ MORE: Pop-Up Miniature Golf Course Planned For Oakland
Federal prosecutors say the defense team had time to meet with witnesses before the pandemic cases began surging and they adamantly oppose any delay.
- Sentencing Set For Nursing Assistant In W. Va. VA Hospital Killings
- Tentative Settlements Reached In W. Va. Veterans’ Hospital Deaths
- 6th Lawsuit Filed In Deaths At West Virginia VA Hospital
- Veteran Affairs Sued Over Westmoreland County Veteran’s Death From Wrongful Insulin Injection
- Person Of Interest In Suspicious Deaths At VA Hospital In W. Va. Reportedly Identified
- Sen. Manchin Demands Answers After Visiting W. Va. Medical Center Where Westmoreland Co. Vet’s Death Was Ruled A Homicide
- Westmoreland Co. Vet’s Death At W. Va. Medical Center Prompts Probe By Veterans Affairs Dept.
- Family Of Westmoreland County Veteran Files Federal Tort Claims Act Following Stay At West Virginia VA Hospital
- Westmoreland County Man’s Death Ruled A Homicide After VA Hospital Treatment In West Virginia
“The government argues that a three-month delay to a sentencing hearing that is currently two months away violates the victims’ statutory right to proceedings ‘free from unreasonable delay,’” prosecutors said in their response.
It wasn’t clear when the judge would rule on the request.MORE NEWS: Amendment Made To Pittsburgh's CROWN Act
(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)