RaDonda Vaught found guilty on two charges in death of patient

A jury on Friday convicted former Nashville nurse RaDonda Vaught of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult after a medication error contributed to the death of a patient in 2017.

The jury deliberated for approximately four hours in a trial closely watched by nurses and medical professionals from across the country, many worried Vaught’s case could set a precedent for medical errors leading to criminal charges.

Vaught, 38, was indicted in 2019 on two charges, reckless homicide and impaired adult abuse, in the death of Charlene Murphey at Vanderbilt University Medical Center just after Christmas 2017. Jury selection in her trial began Monday.

RaDonda Vaught and her attorney Peter Strianse listen as verdicts are read at the end of her trial in Nashville on March 25, 2022. She was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult after a medication error contributed to the death of a patient in 2017.

Criminally negligent homicide is a lesser included charge of reckless homicide under state law.

Murphey, 75, died at Vanderbilt on Dec. 27, 2017, after being injected with the wrong drug.

Murphey was supposed to receive a dose of Versed, a sedative, but was instead injected with vecuronium, which left her unable to breathe, prosecutors have said.

“I am just relieved that this portion of the process is over,” Vaught told reporters after the verdict was read. “I hope that they (Murphey’s family) are also just as relieved to be moving away from this process that has been held up in the legal system for four and a half years. I hope that they are able to find peace with the resolution of this process. “

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