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Nurse Indicted in Toms River Man's Death

New Jersey   (9,736 Views 32 Comments)
by meluhn meluhn (New Member) New Member

meluhn has 16 years experience and specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c.

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

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Very bizarre. It sounds like the primary nurse thught the accused nurse had no reason to be in the room..... or maybe she had a vendetta against the accused nurse and set her up or something? Or? Bizarre case. I really hope they investigate every angle. Seems like they sure hurried to accuse her.

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13,668 Visitors; 912 Posts

Respectfully, no one knows what the prosecutor relied on for an indictment except the grand jury that chose to issue said indictment. Grand jury proceedings are secret. But I do agree: Never speak to the police without representation.

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You are correct. Grand Jury proceedings are secret, and I never knew how a Grand Jury worked until this happened to Lorie. What everyone should know is there is NO judge, NO lawyer present during the proceedings. It is just the prosecutor, the Grand Jurors, a court clerk, and whatever witness is testifying. The Grand Jurors hear only what the prosecutor wants them to hear. The defense does not get to present a case to the Grand Jurors, so they make their decision based on what the prosecutor presents to them. The first indictment against Lorie was dismissed because of prosecutorial errors.

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13,668 Visitors; 912 Posts

You are correct. Grand Jury proceedings are secret, and I never knew how a Grand Jury worked until this happened to Lorie. What everyone should know is there is NO judge, NO lawyer present during the proceedings. It is just the prosecutor, the Grand Jurors, a court clerk, and whatever witness is testifying. The Grand Jurors hear only what the prosecutor wants them to hear. The defense does not get to present a case to the Grand Jurors, so they make their decision based on what the prosecutor presents to them. The first indictment against Lorie was dismissed because of prosecutorial errors.

Yes. If press reports are accurate, the first indictment was dismissed because the prosecutor failed to explore the potential bias of one of the grand jurors, a veteran ICU nurse. (It's worth noting here that grand jury indictments do not require a unanimous vote.)

I have no opinion on the guilt of the defendant nurse; she is presumed innocent. I read a lot of threads on this forum that tend to presume the prosecution is out to get the defendant. That is not always the case. The goal of prosecution is -- or at least, should be -- justice. It is usually a painful process.

For what it's worth, while the proceedings of the grand jury itself are secret, the identitiesof the witnesses are not. Any enterprising reporter could park herself outside that grand jury room, report who is called to testify, and ask those witnesses to tell her what they said. Then we'd have a better idea of what prompted the grand jury to issue the indictment.

Edited by Freedom42
Grammatical errors! Yikes!

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

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If she is guilty, but somehow just made a terrible mistake this is horrible.

If she is guilty, and was "euthanizing" she deserves what she is getting.

If she is innocent, OMG! How freaking horrible this is and unfair and should scare any and every nurse or provider out there.

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It would have been good if an enterprising reporter delved more into the first dismissal and what the Grand Juror actually reported as errors by the prosecutor. That Grand Juror's letter was "sealed" by the judge--thus it may never be made public what actually happened in the proceedings. The goal SHOULD be justice, but to those close to Lorie, we do not believe that is the goal in this case. Thank you for acknowledging Lorie should be presumed innocent. That is one thing I have learned through this process when I read other such stories in the media--accused should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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meluhn has 16 years experience and specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c.

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Very bizarre. It sounds like the primary nurse thught the accused nurse had no reason to be in the room..... or maybe she had a vendetta against the accused nurse and set her up or something? Or? Bizarre case. I really hope they investigate every angle. Seems like they sure hurried to accuse her.

Or she is covering her own butt. Maybe she made the mistake and is blaming it on Lorie.

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AHA! Seems to make sense to everyone except the detectives and prosecutor.

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I find this whole thing ridiculous.

Okay, even if the other nurse saw Lorie give the injection, how should she know what it was?

Standing over a previously-dying (now dead) terminal patient is not illegal, nor is giving a shot of morphine. Frankly, unless they have toxicology reports and have ruled out the other nurse, this is a horrible injustice to all involved.

Cases like this are exactly why grand juries were outlawed in England in 1933. They are basically unheard of outside the US, because it's an easy way to rail-road someone. If the DA can't muster up enough legal evidence to try the case as-is, it should be over. No multiple grand juries to see whether someone even could be guilty.

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I find this whole thing ridiculous.

Okay, even if the other nurse saw Lorie give the injection, how should she know what it was?

Standing over a previously-dying (now dead) terminal patient is not illegal, nor is giving a shot of morphine. Frankly, unless they have toxicology reports and have ruled out the other nurse, this is a horrible injustice to all involved.

Cases like this are exactly why grand juries were outlawed in England in 1933. They are basically unheard of outside the US, because it's an easy way to rail-road someone. If the DA can't muster up enough legal evidence to try the case as-is, it should be over. No multiple grand juries to see whether someone even could be guilty.

The defendant has the right to waive indictment by grand jury and proceed directly to trial or plea. It's rather difficult for a prosecutor to "railroad" a defendant through the grand jury, since it's another obstacle to proceeding to trial. The grand jury is there to make sure that in fact bogus cases aren't pursued. It's worth noting that a grand jury did review the evidence in this case -- evidence we don't know about -- and voted to indict.

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theatredork has 6 years experience and specializes in Public Health.

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There really is no MAR or Pyxis report that can be utilized here in this case. At the time of the incident, meds were merely kept in a medication room with small, unlocked drawers for each med. The door to the med room was the only thing locked. I believe they've since moved to a computerized medication dispensing system.

Narcotics were kept in a separate locked mini-safe and checked at the beginning and end of every shift.

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It's stories like this that make me consider leaving nursing, and certainly dont make me want to make the jump to ICU. There is alot of viciousness and professional / psycotic jealousy in our world we call nursing- This scares me. and yes, I do believe one nurse would be so jealous of another to falsely accuse another- sabotoge another. This is the very personality we need to get out of and keep out of nursing. I have worked with quite a few of them.

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