The trial date for Maria Kelly Whitt, a former Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center nurse accused of murder in the death of a 90-year-old patient under her care, has been changed to Jan. 18.
Whitt's trial had been scheduled for Oct. 12 in federal court in Lexington. Court records indicate the trial date was changed earlier this month to give the government sufficient time to provide records to defense attorneys.
Whitt, 33, of Mount Sterling, is accused of killing World War II veteran Jesse Lee Chain, who died of a morphine overdose Sept. 3, 2006, at the VA hospital. Whitt has pleaded not guilty.
Defense attorney Patrick Nash has asked the government for multiple records, including information on the patients of Whitt and several other nurses at the hospital on Cooper Drive. He also has requested automated medication dispensing machine records showing use of the machine by Whitt and other nurses.
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One of the nurses whose patient and automated medication dispensing machine records Nash requested is Jennifer Kay Angelini, who was found dead on Sept. 22, 2009 in a restroom on the hospital's sixth floor, which houses the hospital's intensive care unit.
According to the Fayette County coroner's office, Angelini, 42, died from acute combined effects of the drugs pancuronium, a muscle relaxant; morphine, a narcotic pain reliever; tramadol, a narcotic-like pain reliever; and citalopram, an antidepressant. Contributing factors were chronic intravenous drug abuse/atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Her manner of death is undetermined, according to the coroner's office.
Whitt was released in October to her mother, Bonnie Whitt, and placed on 24-hour house arrest and electronic monitoring.
She is no longer under home incarceration or electronic monitoring.
That change came in May after a pretrial services officer requested it, saying that there had been "no problems or incidents" involving Whitt.
Pretrial services officer Kristen O'Brien said the probation office did not think Whitt posed a flight risk and location monitoring was no longer necessary to adequately supervise her.
"It's pretty normal for someone with no prior record to be out on bond," Nash said Wednesday.
Nash would not answer any questions about Whitt's whereabouts or whether she is working because he "can't say anything about her personal life."