'Rogue Nurse' in North Carolina Charged With Murder After Allegedly Giving Patients Lethal Doses of Insulin

Police photo of Hayes
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

A former health care worker officials are calling the 'Rogue Nurse' is facing multiple charges in connection with allegedly administering lethal doses of insulin to at least three patients.

A former healthcare provider in North Carolina who the district attorney is calling a "rogue nurse" has been charged with murdering multiple patients by administering lethal doses of insulin.

Jonathan Hayes, 47, who previously worked at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill said during a press conference on Tuesday.

O'Neill provided the timeline of the events that have led authorities to believe Hayes administered a near-fatal dose of insulin to a patient named Pamela Little on Dec. 1, 2021, WRAL-TV reported. 

Little survived, but two other people Hayes allegedly administered insulin to this year died, officials said. 

Gwen Crawford, is believed to have received the fatal dose on Jan. 5 and died three days later, authorities said. Vickie Lingerfelt is believed to have received a fatal dose of insulin on Jan. 22 and died four days later, according to reports.

O'Neill said the hospital conducted its own internal investigation and then contacted the Winston-Salem Police Department and state officials in March to investigate, according to NBC News.

According to the DA, the Winston-Salem Police Department has investigated Hayes for months through interviews, evidence-collecting and discussions with family members of the victims.

"The totality of the information provided to me led me to only one conclusion: That probable cause existed to support charging what can only be described as a 'rogue nurse' with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder," O'Neill said during the conference.

All available evidence indicates Hayes allegedly acted alone, but no details on a potential motive have been released, according to WRAL. Hayes was terminated from his position at the facility on March 18.

“Johnathan Hayes has forfeited the honor of being called a nurse. From this day forth, he’ll be known as a defendant,” O'Neill said during the conference.

Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has been cooperative during the ongoing investigation. In a statement, the hospital said that in addition to contacting authorities, it “notified the appropriate regulators and licensing boards and have been working with them throughout their investigations,” according to NBC News. “What is alleged to have taken place certainly does not represent the high standards of safety and integrity that we always expect from each and every one of our dedicated teammates,” the statement said. “We have conducted an in-depth analysis to ensure we have done everything possible so an event like this can never happen again.”

Denise Potter, the vice president of communications at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, also stated during the news conference that Hayes' alleged actions are not in accordance with the North Carolina hospital's standards.

“As soon as we identified a deviation in patient care … we took immediate action to remove the employee from the patient care environment and terminated his employment," Potter said.

According to jail records, Hayes was booked into Forsyth County jail on Tuesday. No bond was set. 

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