Western Pennsylvania nurse sentenced to consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty to patient murder and attempted murder

HARRISBURG— Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a western Pennsylvania nurse will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole for intentionally administering lethal doses of insulin to patients at numerous nursing facilities.

Heather Pressdee, of Natrona Heights, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of attempted murder.

The guilty pleas allege that starting in 2020, Pressdee administered lethal and potentially lethal doses of insulin to 22 patients at facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties. Most patients died very soon after the insulin dose or some time later.

Under a plea agreement, a Butler County judge sentenced Pressdee to three consecutive life sentences for three counts of first-degree murder and 380 to 760 years consecutive for the 19 counts of attempted murder.

“The defendant used her position of trust as a means to poison patients who depended on her for care,” said Attorney General Henry. “This plea deal and life sentence will not bring back the lives lost, but it will ensure that Heather Pressdee never has the opportunity to cause further harm again. I extend my sincere condolences to all who suffered at the hands of this defendant. I commend my agents, investigators and supporting agencies who have meticulously handled this investigation to uncover the defendant’s horrific actions.”

Numerous relatives of the victims spoke during this week's hearing in Butler County Court. In victim impact statements, they laid bare the pain and fear caused by the realization that their loved one's death was not natural, but was caused by a criminal act.

The Attorney General's Office received a referral in late 2022 regarding a patient cared for by Pressdee. The Attorney General's Office then conducted a comprehensive investigation that uncovered numerous deaths related to Pressdee.

Charges were filed in May and November 2023. Pressdee has been detained since her arrest in May 2023.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Baxter, Assistant Attorney General Edward “Kee” Song, and Assistant Attorney General Pete Caravello, all members of the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division.

Anna Harden

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