FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The district attorney of Forsyth County announced charges against a former nurse in the deaths of multiple patients.
District Attorney Jim O’Neill announced on Tuesday that he is bringing criminal charges against a former nurse named Johnathan Hayes who worked at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
O’Neill says that Johnathan Hayes has been charged with administering a lethal dose of insulin to 61-year-old Gwen Crawford on Jan. 5, 2022. She died on Jan. 8, 2022. Hayes is also accused of administering a lethal dose of insulin to a second patient, 62-year-old Vickie Lingerfelt, on Jan. 22. She died on Jan. 27.
Hayes is charged with two counts of murder relating to the deaths of these two women.
Hayes is also charged with administering a near-fatal dose of insulin for patient 62-year-old Pamela Little on Dec. 1, 2021. Little survived, and Hayes was charged with attempted murder.
The district attorney says that, in March, he was given information from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that appeared to show that 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 says that Hayes was terminated in March, and he was arrested on Tuesday when charges were brought against him.
When this information was given to the District Attorney’s Office, they teamed with the Winston-Salem Police Department and began an investigation. O’Neill says that police conducted a thorough investigation between March and now, including interviews, collecting evidence and talking to families of the deceased.
The “totality” of the information led O’Neill to charge the “rogue” former nurse with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
“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. – 5 p.m.
This investigation is ongoing.