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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville jury has found former Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda Vaught guilty of reckless homicide in the 2017 death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey.
Vaught was accused of giving a patient a fatal dose of the wrong drug. She admitted to using the wrong drug but pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2019.
Charlene Murphey, of Gallatin, was awaiting a standard scan at Vanderbilt Medical Center in 2017 when she was killed by a lethal dose of the wrong drug. Investigators find that Vaught was supposed to administer a sedative for her comfort, but instead she is accused of giving Murphy a different drug that causes paralysis.
Vaught said she was ‘distracted’ when she overridden a safety feature on the automated medicine dispenser, failing to catch a number of red flags between when she grabbed the medicine and gave it to the patient.
Vaught’s case has garnered national attention on social media with hundreds of thousands of people following the trial. Some traveled to Nashville to support her.
On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Smith dismissed a motion for acquittal made by the defense. Vaught also waived his right to testify.
During closing arguments, Vaught held her head down facing the ground. She was emotional throughout the week, crying often.
More nurses were inside the courtroom on Thursday than all week and many more watched from across the country. Some say this trial should be a civil matter and if Vaught is found guilty it could change the landscape of nursing, having a domino effect on health care for everyone.
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