Kentucky Nurse Accused in Overdose Death of VA Hospital Patient

A federal investigator says a Kentucky nurse accused of killing a veterans hospital patient with morphine also cared for two other patients whose deaths were considered suspicious.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Special Agent Rick Ellison testified Thursday that 90-year-old veteran Jesse L. Chain died after receiving 75 milligrams of morphine in the six-and-a-half hours before he died in September 2006.

Ellison also testified that large amounts of morphine were unaccounted for in the cases of two other patients in the care of 32-year-old Maria Kelly Whitt.

Whitt, a nurse from Mount Sterling, is charged with murder in Chain's death at the Lexington hospital. She has pleaded not guilty.

Whitt appeared at a detention hearing Thursday. The remainder of the hearing was continued until next Wednesday.