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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.
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority via AP
  • A judge sentenced Reta Mays to seven life sentences Tuesday for murdering several veterans.
  • The former nursing assistant gave fatal doses of insulin to seven veterans between 2017 and 2018.
  • After pleading guilty in July, she told investigators she had wanted to help the men "pass gently."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A former Veterans Affairs nursing assistant will serve seven consecutive life sentences for murdering multiple elderly veterans through deadly insulin overdoses, a federal judge decided Tuesday.

Reta Mays, who worked at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder last July.

From July 2017 to June 2018, Mays administered fatal doses of insulin, a hormone used to treat diabetics, to seven male patients, all over the age of 80, many of whom did not actually have diabetes, according to court documents.

After Mays pleaded guilty last year, she told investigators she had administered the deadly doses because she believed the men to be suffering and wanted to help them "pass gently." But none of the victims had been close to death and many of them were expected to be discharged within weeks of their poisoning, according to The Military Times.

Mays also previously told investigators her actions gave her a "sense of control" in her personal and professional life, which she said was plagued with chaos and stress.

During her sentencing, Mays' lawyer, Jay McCamic argued longtime mental health issues had played a role in Mays' actions. He also stressed her former military service as a reason for a lighter sentence.

"I know that there's no words that I can say that would alter the families' pain and comfort," Mays said during her sentencing, according to ABC News. "I don't ask for forgiveness because I don't think I could forgive anyone for doing what I did."

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Federal Judge Thomas Kleeh had harsh words for Mays.

"Ms. Mays, several times your counsel has made the point that you shouldn't be considered a monster," Kleeh said during the hearing, according to CNN.

"Respectfully, I disagree with that. You are the worst kind. You are the monster that no one sees coming. And you have made liars of everyone who has ever told their kids that monsters don't exist and that evil does not exist in the world," Kleeh said.

Before she was sentenced, families of Mays' victims were able to share stories of the victims in a push for stricter sentencing. Mays' victims were: Army veterans Robert Lee Kozul Sr.; Archie Edgell; Felix Kirk McDermott; William Holloway; Navy veteran Robert Edge Sr.; Air Force veteran George Nelson Shaw Sr., and Army and Air Force veteran Raymond Golden.

Mays was also sentenced to 20 years for assault with intent to commit murder in the death of Navy veteran Russell Posey Sr.

Last October, families of six of the victims reached settlements with the federal government, according to CNN.

Read the original article on Insider