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‘Rogue nurse’ charged with murder. Patients were given lethal doses of insulin at hospital

By Heather Leah & Chris Lovingood

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    WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (WRAL) — A man who was a nurse at a Winston-Salem hospital has been charged with murdering multiple patients by administering lethal doses of insulin.

Jonathan Hayes, who worked at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill, who held a press conference on Tuesday.

O’Neill provided a timeline of the events and investigation so far, saying Hayes is believed to have administered a near-fatal dose of insulin to a patient named Pamela Little on Dec. 1, 2021. Little survived. However, on Jan. 5, 2022, he is accused of administering a lethal dose of insulin to a patient named Gwen Crawford, who died three days later.

Then, on Jan, 22, 2022, Hayes is accused of administering another lethal dose of insulin to a patient named Vickie Lingerfelt, who died four days later.

O’Neill said he and detectives were called to a meeting at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in March and presented with details from an investigative team that appeared to show Hayes may have administered a lethal dose of insulin, causing the death of at least one patient and perhaps others.

For months, he said, the Winston-Salem Police Department has investigated Hayes through interviews, evidence-collecting and discussions with family members of the victims.

“The totality of the information provided to me led me to only one conclusion: That probable cause existed to support charging what can only be described as a ‘rogue nurse’ with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder,” said O’Neill.

All available evidence indicates Hayes acted alone, said O’Neill.

O’Neill pointed out that Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has been fully corporative and helpful with the investigation.

“As soon as we identified a deviation in patient care as part of our established safety protocols, we took immediate action to remove the employee from the patient care environment and terminated his employment,” said Denise Potter, a spokesperson for Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

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