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Former hospital worker charged for the death of patient, believed to be connected to more

Posted at 12:25 PM, May 20, 2022

Twenty years after a series of deaths at a rural Missouri hospital, a former worker has been charged with murder.

According to a police investigator, in the five months that Jennifer Anne Hall was a respiratory therapist at Hedrick Medical Center, the Chillicothe hospital experienced 18 “code blue” incidents, which usually indicates cardiac arrest.

The hospital historically averaged one such sudden cardiac event each year.

Nine of the patients died, and nine recovered.

About 20 years after her death, Livingston County's prosecutor says Fern Franco died of lethal doses of a muscle relaxant and the pain reliever morphine.

Hall’s attorney says she didn't have access to those or any other drugs.

It is unclear if Hall will face additional murder charges for the other deaths that happened during the five months she worked at Hedrick.

She has pleaded not guilty and is in jail without bond.

Hall’s attorney Matt O’Connor says he will seek bond so that his client can receive chemotherapy for leukemia.

A hearing for the request is set for May 27.