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Old 05-22-2010, 07:30 AM
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Default Private Duty Nurse found guilty of murder of an 11 year old boy

Two families tearfully told a Lancaster County judge Wednesday of their losses. Brent Weaver's mother said that when her 11-year-old son died, "we lost a very special member of our family," and "we'll have to deal with this the rest of our lives." Joy Woomer's family and friends said the loss of her company because of her imprisonment has darkened their lives, sentenced to 7 to 20 years in prison.

It was Carol Weaver who briefed Woomer, a private-duty nurse, when she came to care for Brent inside their family's East Hempfield Township home the night before he died. Contrary to trial testimony, Carol Weaver said she never forbade Woomer from turning on the lights or going inside Brent's bedroom. Carol Weaver said, since it was Woomer's first night in their home, she repeatedly told the licensed practical nurse to call her if she needed anything.

Joseph Weaver, 16, asked the judge "to impose a fair sentence for what she did to my brother that night." "She did not tell the truth. She did not confess," the teenager said of Woomer. "She's a murderer and a liar."

Rebecca Woomer, the defendant's 14-year-old daughter, sobbed, describing her mother as her "best friend." "I know whenever I'm around her, I'm in good hands. Her spirit is what keeps me going through everything tough, everything hard. I need her home," the teenager pleaded. "I love my mom and I miss her." James Woomer, the defendant's 20-year-old son, said his mother "is a caring person ? that's one of the reasons she went into health care.""She is the one I look up to," he said, "and the person I aspire to be." Assistant District Attorney Randall Miller acknowledged the positive qualities of Woomer's life.

But, Miller said, Woomer had access to syringes and morphine, and reminded the court that an 11-year-old child was given a lethal dose of non-prescribed morphine.

Miller asked that Woomer be ordered to pay $6,715 restitution, which include the cost of burial, a headstone and the unsuccessful emergency treatment for their son.

"We may never know why (Woomer) chose to give Brent Weaver morphine. Whether she intended to end Brent's suffering or merely ease his pain temporarily, we may never know." The law does not require proof of motive, Ashworth said, adding that only Woomer knows her reasons, "and she has refused to tell us."

"The jury concluded that (Woomer) administered a lethal dose of morphine," with a "willful disregard ? and extremely high risk that it would result in death or serious bodily injury. "This is an entirely different case than a person making a tragic error in judgment and immediately coming forward and taking responsibility for her actions."

During the trial, Woomer took the witness stand and denied giving morphine to Brent Weaver. Based on the jury's verdict, Ashworth said, the jury concluded that Woomer "was not being truthful and certainly was not demonstrating any remorse."



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Old 05-22-2010, 07:37 AM
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I'd like to know if it was non-prescribed morphine why was it in the house, who's was it and why did she have access to it and the syringes? There must be more to this story. I'll have to do some investigating th_nurse
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:42 AM
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This is so sad and tragic for all that are involved with this case.
Why did she deny giving the morphine when the tox screen will give them the answer on this.
I would like to read more about this case.
Many questions are going through my head.
Was she seen giving the morphine, was someone else in the house jealous of all the attention this 11yr old was getting? Etc etc.
So sad for the loss of a young life.
How come there was non prescribed morphine in the home?
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:09 AM
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I found this which does shed some interesting light on this case:


Woomer, who maintains her innocence going into her sentencing hearing Wednesday, was convicted Jan. 14 of giving a lethal dose of morphine on the only night she cared for the boy. Prosecutors have surmised that Woomer obtained morphine prescribed for another patient in her care.


Joy O'Shea-Woomer





I'm also finding that she was not arrested and charged until 6 years after the boy died.

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:30 PM
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I think had she had more money, therefore a more zealous attorney and funding for forensic tests, etc. she may have gotten a lesser sentence. I find it interesting the judge took into account that it wasn't her son. If I had caused someone's death, relative or not, I think it would be a horrible burden to bear the rest of your life. How much evidence was there that she was the one who gave it? how much was given? what was his health status prior to this? If he needed a private nurse at night it must not have been good, lots of kids have cp and don't get private duty care at noc. what was the time frame between the dose and death? and was that determined to be the actual cause of death? Why the difference in charges based on "the doc didn't intend death but to ease the pain i.e. suffering of his son", they don't know (if she is guilty) what her motive was. I think there is a LOT more to this story. At the end of the day they BOTH gave unperscribed drugs to a person which is against the law but a very different outcome for each regarding sentencing. I'd like to read the trial transcripts for this case.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:10 PM
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Good point Jules and I totally agree. This nurse wasn't even charged until 6 years after the boys death. I think there's more too it too. I see if I can find more info. I think this case is very interesting.
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