UPDATE: A verdict has been reached – read more here.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The fate of RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse facing a homicide charge for giving a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication, now rests in the hands of a jury.
Thursday during closing arguments, Vaught held her head down facing towards the ground. Vaught has been emotional throughout the week often crying, as has the victim’s family.
The family of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey has been in the courtroom all week as well. They told News 2 that they can’t speak on the criminal case right now.
| RaDonda Vaught Case: Continuing Coverage →
Thursday, more nurses were inside the courtroom than seen throughout the week, several traveled from out of state. While others are watching across the country, many say this should be a civil matter and if Vaught is found guilty, it could change the landscape of nursing, having a domino effect on healthcare for everyone.
“RaDonda was forthcoming with her mistake and here we are years later in a criminal case for her being honest. She’s never denying that she made a mistake. it’s just what punitive, what they are doing as a result of it. I don’t think she should be criminalized for making a mistake and saying everything that happened. Why is she the only one here? Why is she there? It is very much a systemic problem and as a result of that, it will happen at other hospitals. So, when it does, are we meeting it with criminal action every time and at what line do we draw,” questioned RN Elisabeth Vincent.
Several nurses in the courtroom reacted to the prosecution’s last witness, legal nursing consultant, Donna Jones.
“The expert said to Google a medication. I would never Google a medication or recommend googling or looking up side effects and administration instructions, but instead using our evidence-based practices resources. There were many nurses in the courtroom and I think we are all a little disappointed in her representation of us,” Nurse practitioner Rebecca Ray told News 2.
From the nurses to the jurors, there was quite a bit of reaction inside the courtroom Thursday. Often jurors were seen agreeing or nodding with the witness.
At one point Jones demonstrated reconstituting the medication, showing the steps that Vaught overlooked, afterwards Jones briefly misplaced the cap–causing a few laughs from jurors.
A similar incident happened on day two when a TBI agent realized there was a minor typo in her report and said “I’m known to make mistakes.”