August 18, 2020

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia, in a press release dated July 14, 2020, announced that a former nursing assistant at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (“VAMC”) in Clarksburg, West Virginia had pleaded guilty in federal court to murder and assault charges in the deaths of eight veterans at the VAMC.

Forty-six-year-old Reta Mays (“Mays”) pled guilty on July 14, 2020 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 R.R.P.

Mays was employed as a nursing assistant at the VAMC, working the night shift during the same period of time veterans in her care died of hypoglycemia while being treated at the VA Medical Center. Nursing assistants at the VAMC are not qualified or authorized to administer any medication to patients, including insulin. Mays admitted to administering insulin to several patients with the intent to cause their deaths.

In announcing the status of the criminal matter, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell stated, “In today’s plea agreement, the defendant has admitted to actions that ended the lives of several military veterans who served our country honorably. Our investigation never lost sight of each of these lives and the sacrifices these men made for their country. The investigative work and the time it took to do it was always done with an eye towards honoring these men. Though we can’t bring these men back because of her evil acts, we hope the conclusion of the investigation and guilty plea helps ease the pain of the victims’ families.”

The FBI Special Agent in Charge stated, “When you break the trust you’re given as a medical professional and break the law, there are consequences. This was a lengthy and thorough investigation with hundreds of interviews, extensive medical and administrative records to review and forensic testing that needed to be done. These eight Veterans deserved respect and honor. They served our country and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. They didn’t deserve to die at the hands of a nursing assistant who intentionally inflicted pain on them and their families.”

Mays faces up to life in prison for each count of second-degree murder, and up to 20 years in prison for assault with intent to commit murder.


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