Former Missouri Respiratory Therapist Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Patient Deaths

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Image Credit: Johnson County Sheriff's Department

Former Missouri respiratory therapist Jennifer Hall has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for her involvement in the deaths of two hospital patients. Hall, who initially faced charges of first-degree murder, pleaded guilty in April to reduced first-degree involuntary manslaughter counts in the deaths of 75-year-old Fern Franco and 37-year-old David Wesley Harper. She also pleaded guilty to one count of attempted second-degree assault. The sentencing took place on Friday, as reported by KCTV-TV.

The deaths of Franco and Harper were part of a series of “medically suspicious” events that occurred at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe between December 2001 and May 2002. During this period, a total of nine patients died. Hall’s case gained attention after an analysis of Franco’s tissue samples revealed the presence of morphine and a powerful muscle relaxant not prescribed or ordered by her doctors.

Hall’s proximity to the affected patients, her access to deadly pharmaceuticals, and her consistent notification of every patient’s cardiac emergency led some hospital staff to suspect her involvement, according to court documents. Prior to Hall’s employment, the hospital experienced an average of one cardiac arrest or “Code Blue” event per year. However, during Hall’s tenure, there were 18 such events.

Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren expressed satisfaction with the sentence, referring to it as “a sentence 20 years in the making.” He acknowledged that Hall may be eligible for parole in the future but emphasized the relief of knowing she is currently behind bars. Hall had previously denied any involvement in the deaths.

 

Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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