Skip to Content

‘She’s pure evil’: Nurse gets life in prison after admitting she intentionally gave patients excess insulin, prosecutors say


By Brammhi Balarajan, Jillian Sykes, Caroll Alvarado and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) — A former nurse who killed at least three patients and tried to kill more than a dozen more at nursing facilities across Pennsylvania has been sentenced to life in prison, the state’s attorney general said.

But the family of one of her victims said her real justice is yet to come.

Heather Pressdee pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of criminal attempt to commit murder, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said.

Pressdee, 41, pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, her attorney Phillip DiLucente told CNN Thursday.

As part of the plea agreement, a Butler County judge sentenced Pressdee to three consecutive life sentences for the three counts of murder “plus 380 to 760 years of consecutive incarceration for the 19 counts of criminal attempt to commit murder,” the attorney general’s office said. She will not be eligible for parole.

“The defendant used her position of trust as a means to poison patients who depended on her for care,” Attorney General Michelle Henry said.

“This plea and life sentence will not bring back the lives lost, but it will ensure Heather Pressdee never has another opportunity to inflict further harm.”

‘She played God’

Pressdee intentionally gave lethal and potentially lethal doses of insulin to patients at five care facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties between 2020 and 2023.

Some of the patients didn’t even need insulin, the attorney general’s office said.

CNN asked Pressdee’s attorney about her motive but hasn’t received a reply.

Some of the victims’ relatives gave impact statements in court.

The daughter of victim Irene Simons said she’ll “never forgive” Pressdee for what she did.

“We’re angry and hurt that she disguised herself as a caring nurse,” Elizabeth Simons Ozella told CNN affiliate WTAE. “She took someone from this earth that she had no right to take, and she played God when she didn’t have that right.”

How the nurse tried to conceal her crimes

Pressdee admitted to “harming, with the intent to kill” the 19 patients, ages 43 to 104, the attorney general’s office said, according to a criminal complaint filed against the former nurse.

She would often administer insulin during the low-staffed night shift hours while working the medicine cart at the facilities, the criminal complaint stated.

“Pressdee often took steps to ensure her victims would expire prior to shift change so that they wouldn’t be sent to the hospital where her scheme could be discovered through medical testing such as C-peptide tests,” according to the criminal complaint.

Despite Pressdee’s hefty sentences this week, a sister of victim Nicholas Cymbol said, “There’s no justice for this.”

“She’s pure evil,” Melinda Brown said, according to WTAE. “We’ll get justice when she meets her maker.”

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

Jump to comments ↓



KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content