A former Pennsylvania nurse who was arrested for murdering two of her patients has confessed to trying to kill 19 others.
Former nurse Heather Pressdee, 41, was originally charged in May after she confessed to administering “lethal doses of unnecessary medication” to three patients, killing two and hospitalizing the third, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.
“Heather Pressdee, 40, of Natrona Heights, was charged … with two counts of homicide, a count of attempted murder, a count of aggravated assault, three counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, and three counts of reckless endangerment,” Henry’s office revealed in a press release at the time.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is urged to contact our tip line: 888-538-8541.https://t.co/Xn6JU9TAz7
— Michelle Henry (@PAAttorneyGen) May 25, 2023
Statement from Attorney General Michelle Henry regarding western PA nurse charged in deaths of patients: pic.twitter.com/ohN5ah8nFl
— Michelle Henry (@PAAttorneyGen) May 25, 2023
“The allegations in this case outline the callous abuse of incredibly vulnerable patients by a professional nurse,” Henry said in a statement of her own.
“As the charges indicate, these were deliberate and intentional acts perpetrated by a care-giver who was trusted to care for these victims. Be assured, my office will zealously pursue justice for the families of those who were killed, as well as the third victim who is fortunate to have survived,” she added.
Pressdee for her part claimed that she’d done what she’d done because she’d “felt bad for their [the patients’] quality of life” and “had hoped they would just slip into a coma and pass away,” according to charging documents reviewed by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.
Fast-forward to this past Thursday, when Henry’s office published a new press release announcing additional charges against Pressdee as per her latest confession.
“Today, the Office of Attorney General filed charges regarding mistreatment of 19 additional patients at five different care facilities between 2020 and this year. Pressdee is accused of administering excessive amounts of insulin to these patients, some of whom were diabetic and required insulin, and some of whom were not. In total, seventeen patients died who had been cared for by Pressdee,” the release reads.
“Today, Pressdee was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person,” it continues.
Authorities say Heather Pressdee a former PA nurse confessed to trying to kill 19 people. The nurse, already charged in two homicides, is now being linked to more than a dozen other deaths. ABC’s @ReenaRoy has the details. https://t.co/QgAX7wRgUQ pic.twitter.com/mryJNpaiCM
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 4, 2023
Speaking with CNN, Pressdee’s defense team said she is “cooperating” with investigators, in part because she’s trying to avoid the death penalty — ironically enough.
“The goal from the very beginning of these matters was to not have the death penalty imposed. We are in pursuit of that goal,” her attorneys said.
The latest criminal complaint against her says she often performed the attempted murders and murders during the night hours.
“Pressdee would often work the medication cart, administer insulin during the night shift when staffing was lowest and the facilities were quiet. Pressdee often took steps to ensure her victims would expire prior to shift change so that they wouldn’t be sent to the hospital where her scheme could be discovered through medical testing such as C-peptide tests,” the complaint reads.
“Pressdee also allegedly administered a second dose of insulin or would use an air embolism to make sure a patient died if she felt that they might survive,” CNN notes, citing the complaint.
Meanwhile, one of the places the disgraced former nurse worked, Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit from the family of Marianne Bower, 68, one of the patients that Presdee is suspected of killing.
“The goal of the lawsuit is to determine how Heather Pressdee was able to work at 11 different facilities for a year period, where it is acknowledged and admitted by her that at least 17 of her patients passed away,” the Bower family attorney, Robert Pierce III, told CNN.
“In the Belair facility alone, four individuals passed away even though there were multiple complaints from staff members that Pressdee was killing patients. Yet, Belair did a small investigation, determined she still could work and then she went to other facilities where more patients were harmed or passed away,” he added.
According to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Presdee has quite the “checkered past,” in that she was disciplined “for abusive behavior toward patients or staff” at a number of facilities, leading eventually to her quitting or being fired from 11 facilities since 2018.
According to reports, an ex Pennsylvania nurse was accused back in May of killing two patients with doses of insulin. Heather Pressdee, 41, is now facing more murder charges after confessing that she tried to kill more people at different locations. pic.twitter.com/B7P4uhqi6l
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) November 4, 2023
In a statement to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Mary Susan Tack-Yurek, the chief quality officer for Quality Life Services (one of the facilities were the murders were committed), said she and her colleagues “are sickened” by Pressdee’s behavior.
“As a family owned organization that prides itself on providing safe and compassionate care, Quality Life Services is shocked and devastated to learn that the charges brought against Ms. Pressdee by the Attorney General’s Office include alleged illegal activity that occurred at our QLS – Chicora facility,” she said.
“We will continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office as needed in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. We can assure our community, our residents, our families and our staff that all residents of Quality Life Services – Chicora are safe and are receiving appropriate care and services,” she added.
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