Local

Trial over nursing home deaths to start

WOODSTOCK – The trial of one woman accused in the “Angel of Death” case is expected to start April 18 after a judge Friday denied a motion to dismiss the case.

Penny Whitlock, 62, was a nursing supervisor at the former Woodstock Residence where prosecutors say several patients were administered too much morphine. Whitlock was charged in 2008 with five counts of neglect and two counts of obstructing justice.

Marty Himebaugh, who is accused of administering the drug, has a court date scheduled for Tuesday.

According to court documents, a certified nursing assistant heard Whitlock tell Himebaugh, “I don’t care if you play the Angel of Death, but just don’t let me know about it.”

Whitlock’s attorney, Nils von Keudell said that the indictment failed to address that the law in this case does not apply to licensed physicians and nurses “providing care within the scope of his or her professional judgment and within the accepted standards of care within the community.”

He also said that the grand jury was misled after prosecutors failed to provide evidence that Whitlock was acting outside the scope of her employment.

McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon, however, said that the omission of nurses is an exception, not part of describing the offense, so it did not need to be part of the indictment. Condon also said there was no prosecutorial misconduct.

“The prosecutor is under no duty either to present all evidence he has or to present exculpatory evidence,” he said.

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