A nursing aide is being charged with second degree murder for allegedly killing a Brattleboro nursing home resident by injecting her with insulin.
Thirty-seven-year old Jodi LaClaire was arrested Saturday in connection with a 2009 death at the Thompson House nursing home, where she was a nursing assistant. Vermont attorney general William Sorrell alleges that LaClaire injected 83-year-old Nita Lowery, who was not diabetic, with insulin, putting her into a fatal coma.
LaClaire was initially charged with using Lowery's credit card over a ten-day period after the coma began. Dane Rank, the administrator of Thompson House, says the facility follows all state and federal guidelines in screening caregivers and other employees.
"Thomson House takes the welfare of our residents very, very seriously. Every employee here, including caregivers, are put through a thorough vetting process, that includes multiple criminal background checks both state and federal, verification of Vermont licensure and a referral process," he says.
Rank says as a potential witness in the case he could not comment on whether enhanced screening procedures were implemented following Lowery's death.
LaClaire, who was arrested in New Hampshire, now faces extradition to Vermont to face the new charges. A lawyer representing her could not be reached for this story. The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Laclaire also faces a charge of abuse of a vulnerable adult, which is is punishable by up to twenty years in prison.