PLATTSBURG, Mo. — Jennifer Hall, the former Chillicothe respiratory therapist who poisoned two patients while she worked at the Hedrick Medical Center in 2002, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Previously, the case had been moved to Clinton County. Her sentence was seven years each for two involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of Fern Franco and Coval Gann. She also faces four years for an assault of Norma Pearson, who ended up surviving. Hall was accused of injecting unauthorized drugs into the victims.
“My feeling from today is satisfaction,” Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren said. “It’s been a long road to get to today, so I’m very happy that we got this conviction. She almost escaped justice completely, so I’m very satisfied. I think the court listened to the arguments of the state, and at least mostly, justice was served.”
“It’s been 20 years. It’s been like kind of a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders,” David Gann, Coval’s son, said.
Coval died at the center in 2002. Since then, there’s been a suspicion around the death.
“This case languished on the desk of several investigators and the prior prosecutor with no action for several years,” Gann said.
18 years was the maximum prison sentence for the charges.
“That was ultimately the deal here,” Warren said. “The deal is that the state would cap her liability for something that she could’ve gotten a life sentence on to this 18 years, but the conduct was always so egregious that she was going to get a prison sentence of some kind.”
Pearson ended up dying in 2011. Gann says his dad died of a shot of succinylcholine, making it impossible for him to breathe. He showed up to the sentencing Friday, spoke in the courtroom but did not say anything to Hall. Her attorney would not speak to FOX4 on camera.
“What good would it have done?” Gann said when asked why he didn’t say anything to Hall in the courtroom. “I mean, it’s been 20 years, granted my dad was the most important person in my life, but what good would it have done to accost her at this point? I mean, it’s not going to bring him back. It’s not going to, it’s not going to make me feel any better, so there’s no sense in it.”
Gann also said to this day, he can’t believe this has happened.
“They call it, ‘Angel of mercy.’ She would do this, and then they’d rush in and try to save these people… some of them they’d save, some of them they couldn’t,” he continued. “She wasn’t an ‘Angel of Mercy.’ She was an ‘Angel of Death.'”
Coval was 82 when he died. Warren says Hall will be eligible for parole. When that happens though, is unknown.