Families of killer nurse’s victims react to life sentence

BUTLER, Pa. — A “killer nurse” will spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Heather Pressdee is responsible for the deaths of 18 patients who were in her care. She pleaded guilty to her charges on Thursday.

Channel 11 saw victims’ families entering the courtroom armed with pictures of their loved ones. They spoke in court to show Pressdee exactly what she took away from them.

Some say they got some closure today.

PHOTOS: 18 victims who died after nurse gave them lethal doses of insulin

“It helps relieve a little bit of that. We have been looking for that for a long time,” Elizabeth Simons Ozella, daughter of Irene Simons, said. “I do believe we got justice.”

Ozella said her mom was hardworking, compassionate and funny.

Ozella said in her victim impact statement, “This devil, who is sitting in front of us to be sentenced, disguised herself as a nurse. When you decided to play God, Heather, you stole our mother. I do not forgive you for stealing my brother Matthew’s world.”

Matthew cried during the statement, telling Channel 11 that his mom was a good mom.

“My mom taught me well. She always loved me so much,” he said. “The family, we stick together and Heather, rot in hell.”

Channel 11 speaks to family of Pressdee’s youngest victim

Melinda Brown’s brother, Nicholas Cymbol, was just 43 years old when Pressdee gave him a fatal dose of insulin.

“He was three years younger than me so I kind of made that vow to watch over him and everything, so this has really hit hard because I tried to give him the best life possible. To find out what she did seems like I failed him in some way,” Brown said.

Brown told Channel 11 that Nicholas was her best friend. He died a year ago yesterday.

“It’s been a long year, still feels like yesterday,” she said.

Nicholas loved collecting trains, playing bingo and was a big Steelers fan.

During her statement to the court, Brown said, “Your actions, and yours alone have placed you in the same place as some of the most evil people in the history of society. It is my understanding that you have never accepted responsibility for, nor provided a motive for your conduct.”

“She didn’t look at anybody she just kind of looked straight forward and I was kind of hoping for some eye contact,” Brown said when she spoke with Channel 11.

Brown says they hope this gives her family and other families closure but they still want to know why.

Many families still have pending civil wrongful death lawsuits against several facilities where Pressdee worked.

Attorney Robert Pierce represents five families in those suits and said, “Today we are optimistic the resolution of the criminal case will help alleviate some of their suffering.”

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