Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Peggy Couse, Serial Killer Nurse – Indiana, 2003

According to an academic article (noted below) on nurses who kill patients, Peggy Sue Couse was suspected of four murders (or attempted murder). She pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the fourth and final incident.


FULL TEXT: Gas City, Feb. 20 - A Grant County nurse heads to court Thursday facing charges of illegally giving drugs to nursing home patients. Prosecutors have filed drug-dealing charges against 40-year-old Peggy Couse.

Couse worked at the Twin City Healthcare in Gas City.

Managers at the nursing home became suspicious of Couse when they discovered missing medication.

Authorities exhumed the body of a former 83-year-old patient who died there last month. The Grant County coroner says it will take at least three weeks before officials know what kind of drugs were present in the patient.

Also, the State Board of Nursing holds an emergency hearing in Indianapolis to determine whether to suspend Couse's license. The hearing is based on grounds she may have given patients narcotics without a doctor's authorization.

[“Nurse faces charges over missing medication,” WTHR (Indianapolis, In.), Feb. 19, 2003]


FULL TEXT: MARION, Ind. (AP) -- Officials said they plan to exhume a body as part of an investigation of a nurse charged with illegally administering narcotics to nursing home patients.

Peggy S. Couse, a former third-shift supervisor at Twin City Healthcare in Gas City, faces five felony charges of dealing controlled substances. She was arrested Friday and released from the Grant County Jail on $95,000 bond.

Relatives of the deceased person agreed to investigators' request to exhume the body, Grant County Prosecutor James Luttrull Jr. said.

"We're trying to confirm or corroborate information that has been given," he said. "The medical history and medical charts and witness accounts have led us to conclude that this is a person we have a duty to check out."

Couse, 40, of Jonesboro, has not been charged in any deaths.

She declined comment when contacted Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Couse faces up to 32 years in prison if convicted of the drug dealing charges and could have her nurse's license suspended after a state hearing planned for Thursday.

The state attorney general's office said Couse was accused of administering drugs without a doctor's authorization.

Couse was fired from the nursing home in the city about 40 miles south of Fort Wayne after officials became suspicious and went to police. She also has worked at other Grant County nursing homes as part of a temporary service, Luttrull said.

No other exhumations are planned, he said.

Officials did not release the identity of the body that would be exhumed, but Grant County Coroner Mark Bardsley said the person died about a month ago.

[“Officials to exhume body in investigation of nurse,” Indianapolis Sat (In.), Feb. 19, 2003]


FULL TEXT: Marion, Ind. – A nurse who pleaded guilty to charges she tried to kill an 83-year-old nursing home patient by giving him a lethal dose of morphine was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

Peggy Couse, 43, of Jonesboro, could have faced 50 years in prison on the charges she tried to kill Virgil Dailey, who died in January 2003 from complications from pneumonia shortly after prosecutors say Couse gave him a dose of morphine.

Couse worked as a nursing supervisor in Twin City Health Care in Gas City, about midway between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

She pleaded guilty in Grant Superior Court to attempted murder and dispensing medications without a license as jury selection was to begin for her trial Aug. 5. Under the plea agreement, she also will serve five years of probation.

“I am so sorry for all the pain I’ve caused to the Daileys and my family,” Couse said between sobs during Friday’s sentencing hearing. “I can’t take it back. I can’t change it. All I can do is say that I’m sorry.”

Defense attorney Shane Beal asked Judge Jeffrey Todd to consider putting Couse on house arrest so she could care for her autistic son.

“A nurse tried to kill her defenseless patient – or the young and able tried to the old and infirmed [sic],” Todd said. “It’s unthinkable.”

Dailey’s daughter-in-law, Kim Dailey, who is also a nurse, said her father-in-law, who was paralyzed on one side, had been helpless.

“He had no way to defend himself,” she said.

Dailey’s body was exhumed in 2003 after suspicion arose surrounding Couse’s distribution of narcotics to patients and co-workers without authorization.

Witnesses told jurors investigators they saw Couse give morphine to Dailey hours before he died.
Toxicology tests on Dailey’s body found traces of morphine in his liver, but authorities said they could not prove that it killed him.

[“Nurse sentenced to 20 years in prison on attempted murder,” The Star Press (Muncie, In.), Sep. 10, 2005, P. 7A]


Peggy S. Couse, Marion, IN, U.S.A. Nurse, nursing home 2002–2004 (sic). Suspected of involvement 4 suspect deaths, confessed unauthorized adm. of drugs. [Beatrice Crofts Yorker et al., Serial murder by health care professionals, Journal of Forensic Psychology, Nov. 2006 (Vol. 51, No. 36)]

Jul. 26, 1962 -- Dearborn, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Jan. 2003 – Virgil Dailey, 83, dies.
Feb. 2003 – Dailey body exhumed.
Feb. 20, 2003 – Nurse license suspended.
Sep. 5, 2003 – arrested and released from the Grant County Jail on $95,000 bond.
Sep. 10, 2005 – Pleaded guilty to attempted murder and dispensing medication without a license. Sentenced to 20 years.
April 9, 2015 – Peggy Sue Couse dies.





For more cases, see Sicko Nurses


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