KY Nurse Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison For Patient's Death

2 Min Read Published August 26, 2022
Update: June 8, 2023
  • On June 8, 2023, former Kentucky Nurse, Eyvette Hunter, was sentenced by Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis to five years in prison for the death of James Morris, 97.
  • In April, Hunter plead guilty to manslaughter.
  • Hunter's request for probation was denied.
  • Her five-year sentence, minus 39 days for the time she already served will start immediately. 
KY Nurse Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison For Patient's Death

Original article: 08/26/2022

A Lexington, Kentucky nurse was formally charged with the “alleged” murder of a patient after administering Lorazepam without a physician’s order. Eyvette Hunter, 52, was charged with murder for allegedly committing intentional medical maltreatment. James Morris, 97, her patient at the time died on May 5th at Baptist Health Lexington as a “direct result” of her actions according to the press release from authorities. 

Image: James Morris

“On April 30, 2022, Ms. Hunter, who at the time was a nurse, intentionally performed actions of medical maltreatment to Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris later passed away on May 5 as a direct result of those actions,” the Kentucky Police Department said.

"We have learned that a former nurse at our hospital has been arrested on criminal charges. The nurse has not worked here since April 30," Baptist Health said in an Aug. 23 statement, according to WKYT. "The nurse was terminated and was reported to the Kentucky Board of Nursing. The hospital has fully cooperated with the police investigation. Patient care and safety are always our top priorities. Out of respect for the family and because this is a criminal matter, we are not able to talk about the investigation."

Hunter was terminated from Baptist Health on the same day as the incident; however, was working at a UK HealthCare hospital as a travel nurse until her arrest on August 23rd.  Her employment at UK HealthCare was through an outside travel agency, Health Carousel Travel Network. Health Carousel released the following statement,

“We are saddened by the recent tragedy and we send our thoughts and condolences to Mr. Morris’ family and friends. The incident took place at Baptist Health Lexington where Ms. Hunter took employment on her own and separate from Health Carousel. After we were informed of the incident and subsequent decision from the confidential board investigation, Ms. Hunter was immediately released from her duties with our company.”

According to the investigation, Hunter administered Lorazepam, a commonly used drug to treat anxiety, to Morris during her shift. Morris had been admitted to the hospital after a fall injury at home and was noted to be aggressive and agitated during the hospitalization. Records show that Hunter requested the medication for the patient earlier in the shift but the request had been denied.

Hunter withdrew the medication under another patient’s medication profile and administered a dose to Morris. WKYT reported that, “Another hospital employee saw what happened and asked what Hunter had given Morris, to which she replied, “something special.” They put Morris back in bed and he became sedated. The other employee again asked what Hunter had given Morris and she again replied, “something special.”

Shortly after the medication was administered Morris’ breathing became shallow and labored and the oxygen saturation monitoring has been disarmed. Morris developed pneumonia, was released to hospice care on May 3rd and then passed away on May 5th. The official cause of death was aspirational pneumonia.

Currently, Hunter is being held in jail on $100,000 bond. 

Kathleen Gaines
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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