FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A former nurse in North Carolina has been charged in the deaths of multiple patients.
Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill announced on Tuesday that he is bringing criminal charges against Johnathan Hayes, who worked at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Hayes was charged with administering a lethal dose of insulin to 60-year-old Gwen Crawford on Jan. 5. She died on Jan. 8. Hayes is also accused of administering a lethal dose of insulin to a second patient, 61-year-old Vickie Lingerfelt, on Jan. 22. She died on Jan. 27.
Hayes was charged with two counts of murder relating to the deaths. He was also charged with attempted murder for allgedly administering a near-fatal dose of insulin to 62-year-old patient Pamela Little on Dec. 1, 2021.
O’Neill said that, in March, he was given information from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that appeared to show Hayes allegedly administered a lethal dose of insulin and killed a patient and may have done the same to others. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist investigated before they turned it over to the DA.
An Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist representative said Hayes was terminated in March.
O’Neill said that police conducted a thorough investigation between March and now, including interviews, collecting evidence and talking to families of the deceased. Hayes was arrested on Tuesday when charges were brought against him.
“All of the evidence indicates Hayes acted alone,” O’Neill said.
When asked if his office knew whether this was premeditated murder versus medical malpractice, O’Neill emphasized that Hayes is charged with murder and attempted murder, “not involuntary manslaughter.”
Charging decisions were made after speaking with the medical examiner in this case, according to the district attorney.
“What upsets me about these kinds of cases is that we have a particularly vulnerable kind of victim,” said O’Neill.
“Johnathan Hayes has forfeited the honor of being called a nurse. From this day forth, he’ll be known as a ‘defendant,'” said O’Neill. “No one in this community should hesitate or be reluctant to seek treatment from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center or any of our outstanding healthcare facilities that we’re blessed to have here in Forsyth County.”
The police department has established a dedicated phone line for anyone who believes they have been impacted by Johnathan Hayes. The number is 336-757-0357. It is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This investigation is ongoing.