Nurse Sentenced to Life for Role in Nursing Home Deaths of 17 Patients

BUTLER, Pa. – Heather Pressdee, 41, received a sentence of three consecutive life terms and an additional consecutive term of 380-760 years in prison during a sentencing hearing in Butler, located approximately 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. The prosecution revealed that Pressdee played a role in the deaths of at least 17 patients across five health facilities in four counties between 2020 and 2023.

The victims, whose ages ranged from 43 to 104, were under Pressdee’s care. Co-workers expressed concerns about her behavior, noting her apparent disdain for patients and the derogatory comments she made about them. Pressdee admitted guilt to three counts of first-degree murder and 19 counts of attempted murder. Initially charged in May 2023 with killing two nursing home patients and injuring another, further investigation exposed numerous additional charges against her.

Court records show that Pressdee, who resided in Harrison, administered excessive amounts of insulin to patients, some of whom were not even diabetic. This typically occurred during overnight shifts with low staffing levels, a tactic that wouldn’t immediately provoke a hospital response to emergencies. Her nursing license was suspended shortly after the initial charges were filed in early of last year.

Text messages exchanged between Pressdee and her mother from April 2022 to May 2023, as outlined in court documents, revealed her discontentment with various patients and colleagues. She also discussed potentially causing harm to them, as well as expressing similar grievances towards individuals encountered at restaurants and other places.

Prosecutors detailed Pressdee’s history of disciplinary action due to abusive behavior towards patients and/or staff at each facility where she worked, ultimately resulting in her resigning or being terminated. From 2018 onwards, she held short-term positions at various nursing homes and facilities in western Pennsylvania, according to court documents. Her contentious actions and attitudes have left a trail of devastation in the communities where she operated, impacting numerous lives in a tragic and shocking way.