Last VA death probe raises new concerns about criminal charges

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — When 92-year old World War II veteran Russell Posey died at the VA Hospital in Clarksburg, in July 2018, it was his death that finally triggered the federal investigation into nine previous, similar deaths.

“Although Mr. Posey was the last chronologically that we aware of to die due to a hypoglycemic insulin injection, he was the first autopsy that we are aware of,” said Tony, O’Dell, an attorney for VA victims.

His identification was released earlier this week. As of now, there are a total of 10 suspicious death being investigated at the VA Medical Center. Six of the victims have been publicly identified by family members, and so far, three cases have been ruled homicides. While Russell Posey’s autopsy lists his cause of death as “undetermined,” federal prosecutors could file a murder charge.

“I believe the government already considers Mr. Posey’s case to be a homicide, and we certainly do,” said attorney O’Dell.

Posey’s family members report they met and spoke with the “person of interest” in this case. They say she expressed surprise Mr. Posey was still alive, days after an insulin shot made him ill.

“It is eerie and creepy that the person who appears to have been doing this was actually interacting with these families while they were concerned about their loved one dying,” said attorney O’Dell.

The “person of interest” has since been fired from the VA, but has not been charged with any crime.

“This has gone on way too long for these families to find out what happened. And now we have another family that’s grieving in a different way. It’s sickening is what it is,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.

In most cases, the veteran’s health was improving and they were scheduled for release when the fatal insulin dose was administered.

“While everyone awaits the filing of criminal charges in these cases, the civil lawsuits alleging medical malpractice and negligence by the VA, will be moving forward,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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