NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville jury found former Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda Vaught guilty on two charges in the 2017 death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey.
Vaught has been found guilty of abuse of an impaired adult. On the count of reckless homicide, she has been found guilty on a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.
Her sentencing is set for May 13.
Update 3/29: A petition on Change.org is calling for clemency in the case of RaDonda Vaught. The “Grant RaDonda Vaught Clemency” petition states RaDonda, “was honest with her mistake and took the necessary steps of reporting the incident. She unfortunately is the only one being held accountable for this mistake.” It also goes on to say, “the patient’s family states the patient would not want RaDonda to be prosecuted for this mistake.”
| RaDonda Vaught Case: Continuing Coverage →
Earlier on Friday, before the jury had reached a verdict, Vaught spoke with News 2’s Stephanie Langston, saying she’s ready for what’s to come. “I’m glad that we’ve come to this point, it’s been 4 and a half years. Regardless of the jury’s verdict, I’m just glad to not have to—carry around the weight of whatever is going to happen with the justice system anymore and I think Mrs. Murphey’s family deserves closure and to be able to move forward from this too…”
Vaught was accused of administering a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication. She admitted to using the wrong medication but pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2019.
Charlene Murphey, 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.
Vaught has 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.
On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Smith denied a motion of acquittal made by the defense. Vaught also waived her right to testify.
During closing arguments, Vaught held her head down facing the ground. She has been emotional throughout the week, often crying.
Vaught’s case has captured national attention on social media with hundreds of thousands people following the trial proceedings. Some traveled to Nashville to support her.
More nurses were inside the courtroom Thursday than seen throughout the week and many others have been watching from across the country. Some say this trial should be a civil matter and if Vaught were found guilty, it could change the landscape of nursing, having a domino effect on healthcare for everyone.
“This will set a precedent for anyone, anyone who deals directly with the public who if you make a mistake it could cost someone their life or serious bodily harm,” Knoxville nurse Tina Vinsant said on Tuesday.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
On Wednesday, the American Nurses Association released a statement saying that the trial could create a precedent that would ultimately endanger patients if the criminalization of medical errors has “a chilling effect on reporting and process improvement.”