CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Attorneys for the woman who pleaded guilty to the murders of seven patients at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Medical Center are asking that her sentencing be delayed.

This week, Reta Mays’ attorneys filed a motion to continue her sentencing until late May 2021. Her sentencing is currently scheduled for February 18-19.

In the motion, Mays’ attorneys cite several reasons why they should be granted the delay:

  • Her defense team has run into issues gathering all of the records they believe they need from the military and other sources and they are not convinced that they everything.
  • Experts have not been able to draft reports on Mays and won’t be able to do so until after the holidays.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic. In the motion, Mays’ attorneys detail risks, related to the pandemic. they have put themselves through to get to this point in the case and are not willing to risk visiting Mays at the Northern Regional Jail, due to the current number of COVID-19 cases at the facility. The motion cites 181 active cases at the time it was written. According to the Dec. 17 update by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, that number has dropped to two active cases. U.S. Attorneys have since filed a specific motion noting the drop in active cases at the jail. Mays’ attorneys also cite family members who have died and/or suffered from COVID-19, as well as conditions that both the attorneys and Mays have, making them more susceptible to the virus.
FILE – This photo released July 14, 2020, by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority shows Reta Mays, a former nursing assistant at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, W.Va. Tentative settlements have been reached in several civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the families of veterans who died at a West Virginia hospital where Mays, a former nursing assistant admitted to intentionally killing seven people with fatal doses of insulin. The settlements were disclosed by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Saturday. Oct. 10, 2020. (West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority via AP)

The motion also points out that had Mays waited to be indicted and then tried on the charges, instead of pleading guilty, the process would have lasted much longer and cost much more money.

U.S. Attorneys have filed a response to the motion, opposing the delay. Lawyers for the government said that they have done everything they can to help get the documents Mays’s attorneys have been looking for.

They also said that Mays’ attorneys did not provide specific enough reasons for the delay, related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, they argued that the family members of the victims have a right to a “reasonably prompt conclusion.”