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Nurse charged with murder after she injected 97-year-old man with 'something special' when he became agitated: Report

Screen shot of WLKY News Louisville YouTube video

A nurse working in Lexington, Kentucky, has been formally charged with murder after reports state that she committed "intentional medical maltreatment" against an elderly patient who had become agitated.

James Morris, a 97-year-old WWII and Korean veteran, had been admitted to Baptist Health Hospital earlier this year after "a slip and fall injury," says a report from the state Board of Nursing. At some point during his stay, he had become agitated, and nurse Eyvette Hunter, 52, reportedly requested that he be given medication to calm him down. Her request was denied by both a doctor and a nurse practitioner, according to WKYT-TV.

Despite the refusals, Hunter was later allegedly spotted on April 30 injecting contents from a syringe either directly into Morris or into Morris's IV. When asked twice what she had administered to Morris, Hunter allegedly replied that it was "something special."

Reports claim that she gave him a dose of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, which may have been intended for another patient. Lorazepam works by slowing brain activity.

Within a half-hour after the injection, Morris became sedated and began having difficulty breathing. When other medical care professionals attempted to assist him, they discovered that his oxygen saturation equipment had been turned off, presumably to silence its alarm.

The medical team managed to improve Morris's oxygen levels, but he had developed pneumonia from either some food or medicine he'd ingested. He then entered hospice, where he died two days later on May 5.

The report from the Board of Nursing claims that Hunter admitted to administering lorazepam to Morris without permission and that Morris died as "a direct result" of Hunter's actions.

"Despite the rapidly declining condition of the patient, [Hunter] never called for rapid response nor acted with any sense of urgency," the Board of Nursing stated.

Following a police investigation into the incident, Hunter was indicted for murder on Monday and taken into custody on Tuesday. She is currently being held at Fayette County Detention Center. Her bond has been set at $100,000.

The Kentucky Board of Nursing suspended her license after she was indicted. Baptist Health terminated her on April 30, though the hospital stated that she had no complaints lodged against her until her alleged treatment of Morris.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Hunter was a traveling nurse who also worked at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, which likewise terminated her following her indictment. Until Monday, she had been a licensed and registered nurse in Kentucky since 2018. Before that, she had been a licensed LPN, beginning in 2007. The Herald-Leader claims Hunter had also been licensed as a nurse in other states, but which states and when she had been licensed remain unclear.

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