UPDATE January, 28, 2020: The Clarksburg VA Medical Center responds to WOWK 13 News report on a 7th questionable death at the facility. The Chief of Public Affairs and Community Relations Service Wesley R. Walls, MA, CAVS, VHA Mentor said:
“Our hearts go out to the families affected by these tragic deaths.
Clarksburg VA Medical Center discovered these allegations and fired the individual at the center of them.
But well over a year after Clarksburg VAMC reported this issue to authorities, Veterans and families are still waiting for the independent inspector general to complete its work and provide the closure West Virginia Veterans and families deserve.
Justice is now dependent on the independent IG’s investigation, and for additional questions on the status of that investigation, we refer you to the independent inspector general. Contacts there are Michael.Nacincik@va.gov and Catherine.Gromek@va.gov“Wesley R. Walls, MA, CAVS, VHA Mentor – Chief of Public Affairs and Community Relations Service
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The latest autopsy on the suspicious deaths at the VA Hospital in Clarksburg is shocking in its precise similarity to most of the other cases.
The victim’s family does not wish to named publicly but has authorized their attorney to release details on the 89-year old U-S Army Veteran we will call “Patient #7.” He was being treated during the overnight shift, on Floor 3-A where all the other suspicious deaths occurred.
He was a non-diabetic, and his condition was improving. But then he was given a fatal overdose of insulin. Patient #7 was originally brought in due to a stoke.
“His blood sugars had always been normal on all testing prior.” Q: Would you give a stroke victim insulin for any reason? “You would not. There’s no medical reason for the insulin injection,” said Tony O’Dell, attorney for VA victim’s families.
The attorney says Patient #7 is most similar to the case of 87-year old Navy Veteran John Hallman, who died at the VA in June 2018, under nearly identical circumstances and VA medical records support that.
“Which means they know this was a homicide.” Q: Do you think it’s a homicide? “Absolutely I think it’s a homicide, and I think the government knows it’s a homicide,” said family attorney O’Dell.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, says she has spoken with U.S. Attorney Bill Powell in recent weeks. He’s heading the investigation.
“I’m pressing forward to get an end result here. He’s being, I think, very measured because he needs to be because of the legal ramifications,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
So far of the 10 deaths being investigated, three have been ruled homicides.
“It is widely anticipated the person of interest in these cases – a former VA worker – will face criminal charges. The question now is, when? At the Federal Courthouse on Charleston,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.