top of page

Ex-Vanderbilt nurse found guilty of 2 charges in 2017 death of patient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville jury found former Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda Vaught guilty on two charges in 2017 death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey.

Vaught has been found guilty of abuse of an impaired adult. On the count of reckless homicide, she has been found guilty on a lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Her sentencing is set for May 13.

Vaught was accused of administering a patient a fatal dose of the wrong medication. She admitted to using the wrong medication but pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2019.

Charlene Murphey, of Gallatin, was waiting for a standard scan at Vanderbilt Medical Center in 2017 when she was killed by a fatal dose of the wrong medication. Investigators found Vaught was supposed to administer a sedative for her comfort, but instead she is accused of giving Murphy a different medication that causes paralysis.

Vaught has said she was “distracted” when she overrode a safety feature on the automated medication dispenser, failing to catch a number of red flags between the time she grabbed the medication and gave it to the patient.

Vaught’s case has captured national attention on social media with hundreds of thousands people following the trial proceedings. Some traveled to Nashville to support her.

On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Smith denied a motion of acquittal made by the defense. Vaught also waived her right to testify.

During closing arguments, Vaught held her head down facing the ground. She has been emotional throughout the week, often crying.

More nurses were inside the courtroom Thursday than seen throughout the week and many others have been watching from across the country. Some say this trial should be a civil matter and if Vaught were found guilty, it could change the landscape of nursing, having a domino effect on healthcare for everyone.


bottom of page