Reta Mays Sentenced to Life in Prison for Veterans Affairs Murders
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Former VA Nursing Assistant Sentenced to Life Behind Bars for ‘Horrific’ Murders of Seven Elderly Military Veterans

reta mays mugshot, West Virginia Regional Jail

A woman who worked the night shift as a nursing assistant at a Veterans Affairs facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia and previously pleaded guilty to murdering seven patients has now learned her punishment. Reta Mays, 46, will spend the rest of her days and nights behind bars.

Mays was sentenced on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh called Mays a “monster” of the “worst kind,” namely the one “no one sees coming,” according to the Associated Press. Per the report:

While the deaths accumulated during her overnight shifts at the hospital in 2017 and 2018, Mays conducted internet searches on female serial killers and watched the Netflix series “Nurses Who Kill,” Kleeh said. He also said she repeatedly denied her involvement, telling investigators three times that she had no knowledge of the crimes.

The judge also called Mays’ crimes “horrific,” USA Today reported.

All told, Mays was sentenced to seven life sentences in prison. Per the court docket:

Proceedings held before District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh as to Reta Mays. Sentencing held on 5/11/2021 for Reta Mays (1), Count(s) 1, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 2-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 2-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 2, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1 and 3-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1 and 3-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 3, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-2 and 4-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-2 and 4-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 4, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-3 and 5-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-3 and 5-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 5, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-4 and 6-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-4 and 6-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 6, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-5 and 7-8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-5 and 7-8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 7, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of life, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-6 and 8; 5 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-6 and 8; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96; Count(s) 8, Defendant committed to the custody of BOP for a term of 240 months, with credit from 7/14/20; to run consecutively to Counts 1-7; 3 years supervised release to run concurrently to Counts 1-7; $100 special assessment; no fine; Total Restitution $172,624.96.. (Court Reporter J Cutter.) (mh) (Entered: 05/11/2021)

The investigation into Mays began after a doctor sounded the alarm in 2018 about “deaths of patients who had suffered unexplained hypoglycemic episodes on Ward 3A, including the deaths of multiple non-diabetic patients.”

At a hearing in July 2020, Reta Mays pleaded guilty to murdering seven patients, reportedly “weeping” as the details of the case against her were read out loud in court. Mays reportedly sobbed again on Tuesday.

“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 said in court.

The murder victims, all of whom were injected with insulin, were elderly Army, Navy and Air Force veterans who served in Korea, Vietnam and even WWII.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Mays, while employed at Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC Clarksburg), murdered Robert Edge Sr., 82, Robert Kozul Sr., 89, Archie Edgell, 84, George Shaw Sr., 81, William Holloway, 96, Felix McDermott, 82, and Raymond Golden, 88.

Mays also pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit the murder in the case of Russell Posey Sr., a 92-year-old Navy veteran. Posey is “not diabetic and not prescribed insulin.” McDermott, Kozul and Shaw were not diabetic patients either. The other victims had Type 2 diabetes.

“Hypoglycemia is a known effect of administering exogenous insulin to a non- diabetic patient or administering more than the prescribed dosage of insulin to an insulin-dependent diabetic patient,” the complaint noted. “Risks of severe hypoglycemia include seizures, coma, and death.”

Mays was removed from patient care in July 2018, the month after she allegedly attempted to murder Posey.

Jay McCamic, her attorney, has said his client has lived with various mental health issues, depression and anxiety. McCamic claimed his client “doesn’t know why” she became a serial killer. Mays herself served in the Army National Guard.

[Image via West Virginia Regional Jail]

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Matt Naham is the managing editor of Law&Crime.