A North Carolina nurse is facing murder charges for allegedly giving patients a deadly dose of insulin.
Prosecutors say Jonathan Hayes intentionally administered the toxic level of the diabetic drug to three patients, killing two and almost taking the life of the other.
All three patients were women in their 60s. The daughter of Hayes’ second victim, Gwen Crawford, said Crawford moved to North Carolina last December to seek better treatment for her health issues. She never expected that it would lead to her mother’s demise.
Ashley Johnson Parker said her mother was the matriarch of the family. Crawford leaves behind three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I really miss my mama. My kids miss their grandma,” Johnson Parker said. “She was the foundation of us. She was the foundation of this family.”
Reports show Hayes’ first victim, Pamela Little, 61, survived the overdose of insulin on Dec. 1, 2021, at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. However, Crawford, 61, died after experiencing a medical event on Jan. 8, according to hospital officials.
On Jan. 27, Vickie Lingerfelt, 62, had a medical emergency similar to the two other women. Hayes is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Hayes reportedly was a nurse for 21 years. His wife Misty nominated him for a special section celebrating nurses in two local newspapers last year. She said he took care “of all his people on his shifts with that extra mile.”
She said, “He sings to them, makes sure they’re comfortable, makes sure they have everything they could possibly need. He lets people know who he is and that they will be taken good care of.”
One of Hayes’ neighbors told FOX 8 something must’ve “pushed him over the edge because he was such a generous person on the outside.”
District Attorney Jim O’Neill said he received evidence that a “rogue nurse” caused the patients’ deaths from Atrium Health investigators in March. Investigators are also seeking any other victims or people who could have been affected by Hayes.
“I will wait until all of the reports have been submitted for an opportunity to meet with the victims’ families before I make any decisions on what is a just punishment,” O’Neill said at a recent press conference, “’cause my experience has taught me a rush to judgment is ill-advised. I will say that all options are on the table for punishment.”
Joe McCloskey, a spokesperson for Atrium Health, told the Winston-Salem Journal the nurse was terminated on March 18. Hayes could face life in prison for each murder charge and 39 years for attempted murder.
“What is alleged to have taken place certainly does not represent the high standards of safety and integrity that we always expect from each and every one of our dedicated teammates,” the hospital said in a statement. “We have conducted an in-depth analysis to ensure we have done everything possible so an event like this can never happen again.”
Crawford’s family said she went to Wake Forest Baptist after experiencing chest pains during dialysis treatment and ended up needing emergency heart surgery. She was recovering and preparing to go to a rehabilitation center before she got under Hayes’ care. Her family is still trying to make sense of her death.
“I’m glad they did get him and that my mom can finally rest, but I’m hurt,” Johnson Parker said.