A former Veterans Affairs nursing assistant on Tuesday confessed to murdering seven patients at a medical facility in West Virginia with lethal doses of insulin, causing them to die from severe hypoglycemia.
Reta Mays, who previously worked at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including seven counts of second-degree murder and "one count of assault with intent to commit murder."
The seven veterans under Mays' care, who died between July 2017 and June 2018, were not close to death nor were they in the intensive care unit.
An internal investigation was quickly launched, which eventually led to a criminal investigation. Mays was also removed from her position during this time.
The VA Office of the Inspector General released a statement Tuesday, calling the murders "tragic and heartbreaking."
"This case is particularly shocking because these deaths were at the hands of a nursing assistant who was entrusted with providing compassionate and supportive care to veterans. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims," the statement reads.
? The deaths were not reported until August 2019, after the body of 82-year-old Felix Kirk McDermott was exhumed in October 2018, six months after he died. The medical examiner determined that McDermott died due to an insulin injection, although he was not diabetic.