UPDATE: The jury will begin deliberations on Friday morning. Read the full breakdown of day three here.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The state has rested its case in the homicide trial of RaDonda Vaught, the former Vanderbilt nurse accused of administering a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication.
Vaught faces more than ten years in prison for charges of reckless homicide and abuse of an impaired adult. She has admitted to using the wrong medication but pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2019. Her attorney has argued that systemic failures at the Vanderbilt Medical Center contributed to the error.
On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Smith denied a motion of acquittal made by the defense.
The defense called only one witness on Thursday afternoon, Leanna Craft. They have now rested their case. Vaught also waived her right to testify.
Charlene Murphey, 75, of Gallatin was waiting for a standard scan at Vanderbilt Medical Center in 2017 when she was killed by a fatal dose of the wrong medication. Investigators found Vaught was supposed to administer a sedative for her comfort, but instead she is accused of giving Murphy a different medication that causes paralysis. Murphey died within 20 minutes.
| RaDonda Vaught Case: Continuing Coverage →
Vaught’s case has captured national attention on social media with hundreds of thousands people following the trial proceedings. Some even traveled to Nashville to support her.
On Tuesday, testimony from Vanderbilt Medical Center employees admitted they would have to override the system at times for medicine. That’s what Vaught said she did the day she gave a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication in 2017.
More than a half dozen witnesses took the stand on day one of the trial, as the nurse faces a homicide charge for the error that claimed the life of 75-year-old Murphey.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
Vaught said she was “distracted” when she overrode a safety feature on the automated medication dispenser, failing to catch a number of red flags between the time she grabbed the medication and gave it to the patient.
The criminal charges came as a surprise to nurses across the country many of who point to systemic problems.
Some Vanderbilt employees outlined several changes they’ve made since the medication error in 2017, including how paralyzing agents are classified in the dispensing system.