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Ex-Nurse in Kentucky Accused of Murdering 97-Year-Old WWII Veteran Hospitalized for ‘Slip and Fall Injury’

Eyvette Hunter

Eyvette Hunter

A former nurse in Kentucky is accused of murdering a 97-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran by intentional “medical maltreatment.”

Investigators announced on Tuesday that Eyvette Renee Hunter, 52, was indicted and under arrest in the May 5 death of James Morris, identified as a patient the Baptist Health Lexington hospital. The hospital said it is cooperating in the investigation.

Hunter’s nursing license was suspended by the state on Monday, the same day the indictment came down.

In addition to being a military veteran, Morris was a retired federal employee, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, according to his obituary.

“On April 30, 2022, Ms. Hunter, who at the time was a nurse, intentionally performed actions of medical maltreatment to Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris later passed away on May 5 as a direct result of those actions,” the Kentucky Police Department said.

The order of immediate temporary suspension obtained by Law&Crime provides the most detailed account of what allegedly happened at the hospital where Morris was being treated for a “slip and fall injury.”

The order, which contained numerous findings of fact and several conclusions of law, said Hunter described giving the patient “something special” intravenously after he had become agitated, leading to the man’s swift decline. The suspect allegedly admitted that “something” was Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. She also allegedly admitted she administered the drug without being ordered to do so.

The former nurse allegedly further admitted giving Morris food to eat, according to the order.

“Respondent admitted to administering Ativan to the patient without an order, as well as, subsequently feeding him,” the suspension order said.

A respiratory therapist who was treating Morris for “labored breathing” found via X-rays that “aspiration from the substances ingested by the patient while in his condition caused the patient to develop aspirational pneumonia.”

The order said Morris’ cause of death was “aspirational pneumonia.” The order even found Hunter had “disarmed/lowered the oxygen monitoring system several times as to not set off an alarm at the bedside.”

The Board concluded that Hunter “negligently or willfully acted in a manner inconsistent with the practice of nursing”; “Is unfit or incompetent to practice nursing by reason of negligence or other causes, including but not limited to, being unable to practice nursing with reasonable skill or safety”; “Has misused or misappropriated any drugs placed in the custody of the nurse for administration, or for use of others”; and “Has falsified or in a negligent manner made incorrect entries or failed to make essential entries on essential records.”

Police said that the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office was referred the case on July 7.

Hunter is listed as in custody at the Fayette County Detention Center. Records reviewed by Law&Crime show that she was booked at 2:52 p.m. on Tuesday and remains held on $100,000 bond.

Read the suspension order below:

[Image via Fayette County Detention Center]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.