Veterans Affairs Hospital Serial Killer Charged With 7 Counts of Second-Degree Murder

A former nursing assistant at a West Virginia veterans hospital pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder Tuesday.

Reta Mays, who worked at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia was charged with the deaths of seven patients by injecting them with insulin. Mays was also charged with one count of assault with intent to murder.

Wesley R. Walls, the chief of public affairs for the Clarksburg VA medical center, told Newsweek in an email he is "glad the Department of Justice stepped in to push this investigation across the finish line and hopeful our court system will deliver the justice Clarksburg-area Veterans and families deserve."

"Our hearts go out to those affected by these tragic deaths. Clarksburg VA Medical Center discovered these allegations and reported them to VA's independent inspector general more than two years ago. Clarksburg VA Medical Center also fired the individual at the center of the allegations," Walls said.

Mays worked at the VA hospital from 2015 to 2018 when multiple patients, including some who were not diabetic, died due to an excess of insulin in their blood. When an investigation was launched in 2018, authorities said they had a person of interest linked to the deaths. Tuesday was the first time Mays was publicly named.

According to court documents, Mays worked in Ward 3A at the VA medical center, which had a number of patients with diabetes. As a nursing assistant, Mays was not required to have any certification or licenses for employment.

"In or about June 2018, a medical doctor employed by [the Clarksburg VA medical center] as a hospitalist reported to the hospitalist's supervisor a concern about the deaths of patients who had suffered unexplained hypoglycemic episodes on Ward 3A, including the deaths of multiple non-diabetic patients," the court documents state. Hypoglycemia occurs when the body has too much insulin, and is characterized by low blood sugar.

"This concern led to an internal investigation that culminated in a referral for criminal investigation...In or about July 2018, [the Clarksburg VA medical center] removed [Mays] from a position of patient care," the court documents state.

Mays was charged with second-degree murder for the deaths of Robert Edge Sr., Robert Kazul, Archie Edgell, George Shaw, "W.A.H.", Felix McDermott, and Raymond Golden. Mays was also charged with assault to commit murder against "R.R.P.," according to court documents.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) sent out a tweet following the news of Mays' plea and the charges, and said he hopes the announcement "brings some semblance of peace" to the families of the deceased veterans.

Today’s news confirms that the nursing assistant at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center murdered Veterans under her care. As a member of @SVACDems , I will not stop until we determine how this could have happened, and ensure it never happens again. My statement: pic.twitter.com/IGeg6VfYdQ

— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 14, 2020

"Today's news confirms that the nursing assistant at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center murdered veterans under her care. As a member of the [Senate Veterans Affairs Committee], I will not stop until we determine how this could have happened, and ensure it never happens again," Manchin said.

US.Department of Veterans Affairs
The US Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington, DC. A former nurse's assistant was charged with killing seven patients at the VA medical center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Alastair Pike/Getty