Clarksburg VA serial killer set to be sentenced Tuesday


Reta Mays

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Reta Mays, the Harrison County woman who has admitted to killing seven patients at the Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center, in Clarksburg, is set to be sentenced for her crimes Tuesday morning.

Mays pleaded guilty to seven counts of second degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder in July 2020, admitting to injecting all of them with unneeded insulin.

She was originally scheduled to be sentenced in February 2021, but her lawyers successfully argued that the sentencing be moved to May.

The main question related to the sentencing is how U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh, who will preside over the 9:00 a.m. hearing, will apply potential life sentences, running them either consecutively or concurrently.

Reta Mays

During the hearing, the court is expected to hear victim impact statements from family members of Mays’ victims. On the eve of the sentencing, lawyers for Mays and U.S. Attorneys were involved in a back and forth over one of those statements. The statement in question, made by the son of one of the victim’s, was recorded due to the man’s poor health. It includes an expletive and Mays’ counsel has argued that a portion of the video should be removed before it is played in court, suggesting that “the highly derogatory language demeans the dignity of a courtroom setting,” according to a motion filed on Monday.

In an answer filed by the government, attorneys oppose the motion, arguing that “more severe indignities will be heard in the courtroom when the government discusses the defendant’s egregious offense conduct and its horrifying consequences,” than the expletive.

Judge Kleeh has made the hearing available by Zoom, so that the public can view it. Federal court rules prevent that video from being recorded, re-broadcast and/or livestreamed and from screen shots being taken from it.

Representative from various investigative agencies related to the case are expected to hold a briefing shortly after the sentencing ends. That briefing will be livestreamed, Tuesday, on this site.

While Mays had entered guilty pleas related to eight deaths, evidence has suggested that there are other deaths that she has not been charged with.

Since Mays’ guilty pleas, the federal government has settled civil lawsuits with the families of 10 victims.

Mays is currently being held in the Northern Regional Jail, in Moundsville, where she has been since her guilty plea.

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