05/18/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

Heather Pressdee admitted to giving excessive doses of insulin to 22 nursing home patients — most of whom died after the dose was given — in Pennsylvania. (Courtroom screenshot from KDKA/YouTube)

‘We’ll get justice when she meets her maker’: Nurse who used insulin to murder patients will spend her life behind bars

Heather Pressdee admitted to giving excessive doses of insulin to 22 nursing home patients — most of whom died after the dose was given — in Pennsylvania. (Courtroom screenshot from KDKA/YouTube)

A Pennsylvania nurse will spend the rest of her life in prison after admitting to charges that she intentionally administered excessive doses of insulin to nearly two dozen nursing home patients.

Heather Pressdee, 41, was given three consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty on Thursday to three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of criminal attempt to commit murder, Attorney General Michelle Henry announced in a news release. In addition to the consecutive life sentences for the three counts of first-degree murder, she was given 380 to 760 years of consecutive incarceration for the 19 counts of criminal attempt to commit murder, prosecutors said.

As Law&Crime has reported, Pressdee was accused of intentionally administering excessive doses of insulin to 22 patients — 17 who died — between 2020 and her arrest in May 2023, according to the state attorney general’s office. Some of the patients — spanning five different care facilities — required insulin to treat diabetes, while some of them did not have diabetes.

Related Coverage:

    “The defendant used her position of trust as a means to poison patients who depended on her for care,” Henry said in a statement. “This plea and life sentence will not bring back the lives lost, but it will ensure Heather Pressdee never has another opportunity to inflict further harm. I offer my sincere sympathy to all who have suffered at this defendant’s hands. I commend my agents and investigators, and assisting agencies, who meticulously worked this investigation to uncover the defendant’s terrible acts.”

    Family members of victims spoke out in court.

    Melinda Brown, whose brother, Nick Cymbol, died from insulin that Pressdee admitted she administered last year at Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Butler, Pennsylvania, called her “pure evil,” CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA reported.

    “There’s no justice for this,” she said, the outlet reported. “We’ll get justice when she meets her maker.”

    Elizabeth Simons Ozella’s mother, Irene Simons, 78, was injected with insulin despite not being diabetic and died under Pressdee’s care, the news station reported.

    “My brother and I needed to come today,” Elizabeth Simons Ozella said, the news station reported. “We’ve been looking forward to being able to say what we feel. We know it’s probably falling on deaf ears on her side. But anybody can do what she did isn’t going to care about a few words that we say.”

    Marissa Hiles told the outlet that her aunt, Betty Hutchinson, survived Pressdee’s heavy dose of insulin but suffered a stroke and can’t feed herself or speak.

    “She’s still with us she’s just not quite the person she was prior to this,” Marissa Hiles, the station reported.

    The Associated Press reported another speaker telling the court: “She is not sick. She is not insane. She is evil personified … I looked into the face of Satan myself the morning she killed my father.”

    When asked by one of her lawyers why she was pleading guilty, Pressdee said, “Because I am guilty,” the AP reported.

    Pressdee apologized to the victims in court, KDKA reported.

    Pressdee has said “she felt bad for their quality of life and she had hoped that they would just slip into a coma and pass away,” according to the initial criminal complaint filed in the case.

    Pressdee also faces wrongful death lawsuits in the case, including one filed by the family of Cymbol. The law firm handling the Cymbol case also represents family members of four other Pressdee victims.

    Sign up for the Law&Crime Daily Newsletter for more breaking news and updates

    In that lawsuit, Pressdee is accused of giving the 43-year-old “brittle diabetic” a lethal dose after she routinely insulted, berated, bullied, and abused him.

    The lawsuit documents the events leading up to Cymbol’s death after the suspicious death of another patient.

    The lawsuit said, “Pressdee set her sights on Nick Cymbol,” a “brittle diabetic” who often experienced large swings in his blood glucose levels and required routine insulin administration to maintain his blood sugar.

     

    The post ‘We’ll get justice when she meets her maker’: Nurse who used insulin to murder patients will spend her life behind bars first appeared on Law & Crime.