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Vermont nursing assistant accused of insulin-induced murder

By Jason McLure

LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - A Vermont nursing assistant was charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday after allegedly injecting a healthy non-diabetic patient with insulin, sending the elderly woman into a coma, and using her credit card before she died 10 days later.

Jodi LaClaire, 37, a licensed nursing assistant, was accused in the 2009 death of Nita Lowery, 83, a resident under her care at the Thompson House nursing home in Brattleboro, Vermont, the Vermont attorney general's office said in a statement.

State prosecutors accuse LaClaire of injecting Lowery with a fatal dose of insulin, even though the woman was in good health and was not diabetic. Lowery fell into an insulin-induced coma on March 23, 2009 and died 10 days later.

During that time LaClaire used Lowery's credit card to withdraw several thousand dollars, according to the attorney general's office.

In April LaClaire was charged with 16 counts of financial exploitation and attempted financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in connection with the credit card use.

LaClaire, who was arrested in Bennington, New Hampshire on Tuesday on the murder charge, faces 20 years to life without parole if convicted. She is also charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Paul Thomasch)

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