Ex-VA employee gets 7 life sentences for killing 7 veterans with insulin

CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — A former nursing assistant was sentenced Tuesday to seven consecutive life sentences plus 20 years in the deaths of seven patients at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Reta Mays, 46, pleaded guilty in July 2020 to intentionally killing the victims with fatal insulin doses. The 20-year sentence applies to an eighth victim, WDTV reported.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard announced the penalties. handed down more than 10 months after Mays pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of veterans Robert Edge Sr., Robert Kozul, Archie Edgell, George Shaw, W.A.H., Felix McDermott and Raymond Golden. She also pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit murder involving the death of veteran Russell Posey.

According to WBOY, Mays, who admitted to injecting all eight victims with unneeded insulin, offered the following brief statement through tears during Tuesday’s sentencing:

“There’s no words I can say that can offer the families any comfort. I can only say I’m sorry for the pain I caused them and my family,” Mays said.

Robert Edge Jr., son of victim Robert Edge Sr., said during the federal sentencing that he does not forgive Mays, the TV station reported.

“I would punish you with my own hands if it would do any good. I want you to experience what death feels like,” Robert Edge Jr. said during the hearing.

Meanwhile, Melanie Proctor, daughter of victim Felix McDermott, called Mays a “coward,” and Norma Shaw, victim George Shaw’s widow, said forgiveness is a long-term goal she hopes to achieve, WBOY reported.

“In my heart I know I need to forgive her for what she did, and someday I will, but not today. I know that judgement will come one day,” Norma Shaw said.

Mays was also ordered to pay a total of $172,624.96 to the victims’ families, the VA Hospital, Medicare and insurance companies, WDTV reported.

According to the TV station, the investigation was launched in June 2018, involving “more than 300 interviews; the review of thousands of pages of medical records and charts; the review of phone, social media and computer records; the exhumation of some of the victims; and the review of hospital staff and visitor records to assess their potential interactions with the victims.”

Mays is expected to serve her sentence at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Medical Center Carswell in Texas, which has a mental health unit, WBOY reported.