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Nurse charged in death of WWII vet appears in court

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

A woman charged with murder in the death of a WWII veteran makes a court appearance.

Today, 32 year old Maria Whitt appeared in a Lexington courtroom to answer to charges.

That's where we also learned about new details in her crime, and possible others she might be connected to.

Whitt is charged with the murder of 90 year-old Jesse Lee Chain.

Authorities say on September 3, 2006, Whitt allegedly injected Chain with a lethal dose of morphine. Investigators say chain was on a morphine drip to ease the pain as he was dying. They say Whitt gave Chain 10 times the dose age prescribed in a matter of hours. A co-worker discovered his morphine bottle was empty moments after Chain's death. According to court testimony, Chain had more than 75 milliliters of morphine in his system when he died. They say he should have only had bout 6 milliliters in his system. His death was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner.

Chain had been brought to the intensive care unit from the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center where he was a resident.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges that's when Whitt 'willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation' administered the lethal dose to Chain.

Chain died at the hospital.

Today, authorities said Whitt also cared for two other patients whose deaths were considered suspicious.

In these two deaths, officials testified, large amounts of morphine were unaccounted for.

Whitt will next appear in court for an arraignment tomorrow.


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