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Veterans Affairs Building in Washington, D.C.
Veterans Affairs Building in Washington, D.C. (Carlos Bongioanni)

CLARKSBURG, W. Va. (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of West Virginia is teaming up with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General, the FBI and West Virginia University to host a symposium on the VA hospital murders in Clarksburg.

Legal and forensic experts will discuss the methods used to convict a serial killer who preyed on veterans at the veteran's hospital in Clarksburg.

In May 2021, Reta Phyllis Mays, a former nursing assistant at the veteran's hospital in Clarksburg, was sentenced to seven life terms in prison plus 20 years for murdering seven patients with insulin and attempting to murder an eighth veteran. The two-year investigation that preceded Mays' July 2020 guilty pleas was highly complex.

Symposium leaders will examine the clinical, forensic, psychiatry and legal prosecution techniques used to ensure justice for Mays' victims and their families. The prosecution team, investigators, and experts from around the globe will present during the event. The symposium has been approved for CLE and CME credits. Credits for LE in-service are pending.

"The Medicolegal Symposium on the Serial Murder Case of Reta Mays" will be held at the WVU College of Law on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The training will also be available virtually via the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia's YouTube channel.

Medical professionals and medical students, attorneys and law students, criminal investigators and criminal justice students are welcome to attend. Registration is free but is required. For more information or to register, go to the U.S. Justice Department website.

Mays was sentenced to life in prison for killing seven elderly veterans with fatal injections of insulin. Two men who died in Mays' scheme were residents of Fairmont, including 89-year-old Robert Kozul Sr. who died on January 30, 2018, of severe hypoglycemia caused by the administration of unnecessary insulin shots by Mays, who was his caretaker at the time.

When she was sentenced, U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh called her "the monster that no one sees coming." Mays had a history of mental health issues, but gave no explanation why she killed the men.

Kleeh also told May in court "you knew what you were doing" before sentencing her to seven consecutive life terms. Mays, who is now 47, will likely die in prison.

(c)2021 the Times West Virginian (Fairmont, W. Va.)

Visit the Times West Virginian (Fairmont, W. Va.) at

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