Officials: Nurse accused of killing 97-year-old vet by ‘intentional medical maltreatment’

A Kentucky nurse is accused of killing a man in Lexington by “medical maltreatment.” (SOURCE: WKYT)
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 12:08 PM MDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News) - A Kentucky nurse is accused of killing a 97-year-old man by “medical maltreatment,” authorities say.

According to court documents obtained by WKYT, 52-year-old Eyvette Hunter was indicted Monday on a murder charge and taken into police custody Tuesday.

The indictment reportedly said Hunter unlawfully caused the death of James Morris on April 30 by “intentional medical maltreatment.” Morris, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, had suffered a fall and was admitted to Baptist Health Lexington for treatment.

Hunter’s nursing license was also suspended Monday, according to a complaint filed with the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

The suspension order gave more details about what allegedly happened, saying Hunter had worked as a nurse at Baptist Health and was treating a 97-year-old patient. WKYT said the patient was identified as Morris.

According to the suspension order, Morris had become agitated and aggressive, and the nurse requested medication to calm him down, which was denied by both a doctor and a nurse practitioner.

After being denied, the order said Hunter withdrew a vial of lorazepam meant for another patient and administered it to Morris.

Hunter reportedly told another hospital employee she had given Morris “something special” both times when asked twice by the employee.

After he was sedated, the order said another nurse found Morris sometime later with labored breathing and his oxygen saturation equipment not monitoring. The order said Hunter had disabled the equipment to prevent the alarm from going off.

Hospital staff was able to get Morris’ oxygen level back up, but he developed pneumonia because of some of the substances he ingested, according to the order.

He was released to hospice care May 3 and died two days later, with his cause of death listed as “aspirational pneumonia.”

According to the suspension order, Hunter admitted to giving Morris the drug without permission.

Baptist Health fired Hunter the day the incident happened and released a statement saying that the accused nurse had not worked there since April 30, adding she had been “terminated and was reported to the Kentucky Board of Nursing.”

WKYT reports the nurse had worked at another hospital in Lexington up until her arrest.

The indictment said Hunter will be held on a $100,000 bond.