Woman gets probation in suburban nursing home deaths

December 14, 2011 3:08:16 PM PST
A former nurse was sentenced to probation Wednesday in connection with the deaths of six residents at a nursing home in suburban Woodstock back in 2006.

The patients died after being given overdoses of morphine.

The former nurse, Marty Himebaugh, pleaded guilty to criminal neglect. Even though she will not serve jail time, Himebaugh is still named in civil lawsuit related to the nursing home deaths.

The former nurse accused of overmedicating nursing home patients arrived to the McHenry County Courthouse for sentencing.

Himebaugh was a nurse at Woodstock Residence Nursing Center in 2006. An investigation into six suspicious deaths at the center resulted in Himebaugh and her supervisor charged.

The supervisor was acquitted earlier this year.

Himebaugh agreed to a guilty plea on one charge of criminal neglect if the five other charges were dropped.

Wednesday, a judge sentenced Himebaugh to probation for two years-- no jail time.

"She has been accountable for her actions, and she now has a felony on her record," said Phil Hiscock, McHenry County State's Attorney.

Himebaugh declined to comment on camera. She reported to the probation office after sentencing and allowed her attorney to comment on her behalf.

"I think this is somewhat of a vindication, what happened today," said Himebaugh's attorney Sam Amirante. "She has suffered so much in her personal life."

There are still at least two civil cases against Himebaugh. An attorney for the family of Virginia Cole said his client understands the difficulty of prosecuting the criminal case but is disappointed that the prosecution was not able to prove the full range of charges brought up in the investigation.

Cole's daughter did not want to be interviewed on camera.

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