A Tennessee nurse who mistakenly gave a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication in 2017 will not face prison time after being convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
RaDonda Vaught faced a possible six years behind bars, but was sentenced Friday to three years of supervised probation.
The decision came after the victim’s family asked the judge to show mercy.
“We forgive her. My mother-in-law would want her to be forgiven, and jail time is not an option to me,” Charlene Murphey’s daughter-in-law, Chandra, said at the hearing.
“I mean, it’s sad all the way around for everybody. I mean, not only my family, but [Vaught’s] also,” a family member said.
Vaught, 38, wept openly as she heard the words of compassion and forgiveness, and then turned to address the family, apologizing for the first time in the four years since the tragedy.
“Saying I’m sorry doesn’t seem like enough, but you deserve to hear that and you deserve to know that I am very sorry for what happened,” Vaught said.
In 2017, Vaught was supposed to give Murphey a mild sedative before a routine procedure. Instead, she administered a lethal dose of the paralyzing agent vecuronium bromide, which comes with a clear warning label.
After Vaught was charged in Murphey’s death, the case ignited fury among nurses across America.
Hundreds of nurses kept vigil outside the court and followed the dramatic sentencing on loudspeakers.