A federal judge has released from jail a nurse charged in the death of a Veterans Affairs Medical Center patient.
Maria K. Whitt, 32, was placed on house arrest and released to her mother, who lives in Mount Sterling. Whitt's mother, Bonnie Whitt, testified Wednesday that she had a list of 24 people who would be willing to randomly check on her daughter, including Mount Sterling Mayor Gary Williamson, if U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Todd decided to release her.
Whitt appeared in court Wednesday for a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Lexington handcuffed and wearing a green jumpsuit. The former VA hospital nurse is charged with murder in the death of World War II veteran Jesse Lee Chain, 90, who died of a morphine overdose Sept. 3, 2006. She has pleaded not guilty. Whitt's trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 7.
Patrick Nash, who represents Whitt, said his client's case is complicated, but it is not consistent with a first-degree murder charge. Whitt is "focused on defending herself," he said.
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