Reta Mays

Serial man killer learns fate after murdering 7 male patients while working as night-shift nursing assistant

A West Virginia woman was sentenced to seven life sentences by a federal judge Tuesday after she killed seven patients at a West Virginia hospital.

“You knew what you were doing,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh told Reta Mays before sentencing her.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Mays was assigned to tend to ailing elderly patients at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg and did so for three years. Part of her job consisted of sitting by their bedside and taking vital signs during overnight shifts when there wasn’t a lot of medical staff working.

By her own admission, Mays would sneak into different rooms and inject lethal doses of insulin into the ailing patients’ bodies. Mays admitted in federal court last year that for a period of around 11 months, she continued to inject patients until they died.

The hospital began an investigation after noticing alarming rates of hypoglycemic deaths from non-diabetic patients or patients with Type 2 diabetes who were not prescribed insulin.

With no cameras in the patient rooms, it took around two years for investigators to build and complete the case. Investigators were suspicious of Mays from the beginning but she initially denied any wrongdoing.

According to USA Today, the victims, most of which were war heroes, include:

  • Felix Kirk McDermott, 82
  • George Nelson Shaw, Sr., 81
  • Archie Edgell, 84
  • Robert Edge, Sr., 82
  • Robert Kozul, 89
  • Raymond Golden, 88
  • William Alfred Holloway, 96

Another man, identified only as R.R.P., died two weeks after his blood sugar stabilized. Authorities were not able to definitely say he died from an insulin injection.

According to court records, Mays had no license or certification to care for patients. She was hired in 2015.

During court on Tuesday, Mays shed tears as she apologized to the court for her actions, Yahoo News reports.

“I know that there’s no words that I can say that would alter the families’ pain and comfort. I don’t ask for forgiveness because I don’t think I could forgive anyone for doing what I did.”

Mays’ lawyer, Jay McCamic, argued that Mays had an extensive history with mental health issues; she struggled with anxiety, depression, and “other medical” conditions.

“Most people want to have a nice, linear story applied to the conspiracy, a unified motive of why someone would set upon the idea of taking the life of others and go forth with that idea. Unfortunately, why is not a question that can be answered here. Reta doesn’t know why. Her family doesn’t know why,” McCamic told the court.

Kleeh told Mays that her actions have made her a “monster,” despite her attorney’s arguments.

“Several times your counsels made the point that you shouldn’t be considered a monster. Respectfully, I disagree with that. You are the worst kind. You’re the monster that no one sees coming.”

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[Feature Photo: Reta Mays/West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority via AP]