MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of West Virginia, teamed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and West Virginia University held a symposium to discuss the case against Reta Mays.
Reta Mays was convicted and sentenced to prison back in May. She’s serving seven life terms plus 20 years for killing seven patients with insulin and attempting to kill an eighth at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.
“It’s unique,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard said. “It’s a once in a lifetime type of case and with respect to science, I think it is a model, and that’s why we’ve put this symposium … Medical science and the law think are inner connected in many instances and this case basically shines a light on that.”
The symposium was held at the WVU Law campus. Officials presented medical science and legal prosecution techniques to the audience. More than 200 people attended, either in-person or virtual. Guests included WVU students, staff, law enforcement officers, lawyers, medical personal and attorneys.
“I hope they will understand why it’s important to, in the future, collaborate and be prepared to collaborate with law enforcement, with other entities and from the lawyer’s standpoint that they also recognize how important science is in these investigations particularly in this type of case forensic scientists and the experts across the world and that’s who was involved in this case,” Bernard said.
Bernard said he thinks the techniques used in this case will be used as a model for future investigations.
“Some of the most important points are how difficult this was,” he said. “We had victims who had serious medical complications, various, what they call, comorbidities or other possible causes of death, but we also had victims who had been embalmed who had been buried and had to be exhumed so medical science really had to catch up and these were pioneering efforts.”
This was the first time the department has put on a symposium.
Also on Thursday, a team of investigators and prosecutors who worked on the Reta Mays case were honored at the Annual Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency Awards ceremony.