October 26, 2022

Nurse Charged With Murdering 2 Patients, Allegedly Gave Lethal Insulin Doses

Nurse Charged With Murdering 2 Patients, Allegedly Gave Lethal Insulin Doses

Johnathan Howard Hayes
Image: Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

On October 25th, Registered Nurse Johnathan Howard Hayes, 47, from Winston-Salem, North Carolina was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. According to the North Carolina State Board of Nursing, he has been a registered nurse since June 27, 2000. 

Hayes was arrested on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, for the murder of Gwen Zelda Crawford and Vickie Lynne Lingerfelt and the attempted murder of Pamela Jean Little. 

He was employed with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center at the time of the allegations. 

The Charges

Hayes is accused of attempted murder for administering a near-fatal dose of insulin to Pamela Little on December 1, 2021. She did survive the incident.

On January 5, 2022, he is accused of administering a deadly dose of insulin to Gwen Crawford. This led to her death on January 8, 2022.

Hayes also allegedly injected Vickie Lingerfelt with a lethal dose of insulin on January 22, 2022. She passed away on January 27, 2022.

The Investigation

In March 2022, a deviation in patient care was discovered by the hospital. This led to the discovery of the three incidents. 

At that time, the hospital began a full investigation, and Hayes was terminated. The Winston-Salem Police Department was notified on March 21, 2022.

In a press conference, Forsythe County District Attorney, Jim O’Neill, referred to Hayes as a “rogue nurse.” He went on to say Hayes has “forfeited the honor of being called a nurse” and assured the public that Hayes acted alone.

The motive is currently unknown. Officials do not believe Hayes knew the victims prior to the incidents. 

It is unknown if the three victims are the only ones at this time. Winston-Salem Assistant Chief of Police, William Penn, Jr., announced during the press conference that a designated phone line is set up for anyone who feels they or a family member may have been a possible victim of Hayes. 

Penn encouraged possible victims to call and speak to a member of the Winston-Salem Police Department. The designated number to call is (336) 757-0357.

The entire press conference can be viewed here.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Officials Respond

According to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist spokesman, Joe McCloskey, Hayes worked off and on with the hospital over the past 15 years. His employment was terminated on March 18, 2022.

Denise Potter with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center assured the public, “What has alleged to have taken place certainly does not represent the very high standards of safety and integrity that our dedicated teammates take pride in and display each and every day.”

She went on to say, “When we first learned of these disturbing events, we immediately reached out to offer our condolences, our apologies, and our support to the patient’s families.”

According to District Attorney, Jim O’Neill, there is probable cause to charge Hayes with murder at this time. Hayes will appear for the first time in court on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at 9 AM EST. Currently, no bond is set. The North Carolina Board of Nursing has not issued disciplinary action against Hayes at this time. 

This is an ongoing case. Nurse.Org will update as new findings emerge.

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