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A Pennsylvania nurse who administered fatal or potentially fatal doses of insulin to patients is sentenced to life in prison

A Pennsylvania nurse who administered fatal or potentially fatal doses of insulin to numerous patients pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison

A Pennsylvania nurse who administered fatal or potentially fatal doses of insulin to numerous patients pleaded guilty Thursday to triple murder and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

Heather Pressdee, 41, was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and another consecutive sentence of 380 to 760 years behind bars during a hearing in Butler, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh. She played a role in the deaths of at least 17 patients living at five health care facilities in four counties between 2020 and 2023, prosecutors said.

The victims were between 43 and 104 years old. Staff members often questioned Pressdee's behavior, saying she frequently showed contempt toward her patients and made derogatory comments about them, authorities said.

Pressdee pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of attempted murder. In May 2023, she was initially charged with killing two nursing home patients and injuring a third. Further investigation led to dozens of additional charges against her. During a hearing in February where she argued with her lawyers, she indicated she wanted to plead guilty.

The plea hearing was expected to last until Friday as several people wanted to provide victim impact statements, officials said.

Prosecutors alleged that Pressdee, of Harrison, administered excessive amounts of insulin to patients, some of whom were diabetic and some of whom were not. She typically administered the insulin during night shifts, when staffing levels were low and emergencies did not result in immediate hospitalization.

Her nursing license was revoked early last year, shortly after the first charges were filed.

According to court documents, between April 2022 and May 2023, Pressdee sent her mother text messages in which she spoke to various patients and colleagues about her dissatisfaction and discussed potentially harming them. She also expressed similar complaints about people she encountered in restaurants and other places.

Pressdee has a history of being “disciplined for abusive behavior toward patients and/or staff at each facility, resulting in her resignation or firing,” prosecutors said in court documents. According to the records, Pressdee briefly held a series of jobs at nursing homes and facilities in western Pennsylvania beginning in 2018.

Anna Harden

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