A Pennsylvania nurse pleads guilty to killing patients with fatal doses of insulin

A Pennsylvania nurse who prosecutors say gave excessive doses of insulin to nursing home patients, 17 of whom died, pleaded guilty Thursday.

Nurse Heather Pressdee was charged last May with killing two patients and injuring a third at Quality Life Services, a nursing facility in Chicora. Months later, she faced new charges after prosecutors said she confessed to trying to kill 19 others at various facilities where she worked.

Heather Pressdee.  (Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office)

Heather Pressdee. (Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office)

In total, Pressdee allegedly mistreated 22 patients – some diabetics, others not – with dangerously high insulin levels at five different facilities between 2020 and 2023, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office said.

Her charges include first-degree murder, attempted murder and neglect of a dependent person.

Several family members of the victims have filed wrongful death lawsuits.

A probable cause affidavit outlined disturbing details in the case, including alleged text messages Pressdee sent to her mother discussing when she said she wanted to kill someone.

“Can I kill that man at Taco Bell,” one alleged April 6, 2022, text said.

“I’m going to murder,” read another from June 10, 2022.

Other text messages were about her patients and colleagues.

In a text message dated September 2, 2022, Pressdee allegedly told her mother that she was going to “murder my helpers.” In a message a few days later, she complained about a screaming patient, according to the affidavit.

“I've already drugged him and I don't know how he's awake,” the message said.

On May 12, 2023, Pressdee complained to her mother that a patient was “driving me crazy” by following her, the affidavit states.

“But I could kill this resident,” the text message read. “I need to set some sort of boundary with him.”

According to Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI, Pressdee was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

This article was originally published on

Anna Harden

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