Pa. Nurse Lawyer: Cooperation If No Death Penalty


The lawyer for Charles Cullen, the Pennsylvania nurse who says he killed up to 40 patients with drug overdoses, said his client will help authorities with the investigation if they agree not to seek the death penalty, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Cullen, 43, of Bethlehem, Pa., is being questioned in several patient deaths at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., this year. Cullen said he gave lethal injections to many critically ill patients during his 16-year career at 10 medical facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

But since taking over the case Tuesday, Cullen’s attorney, public defender Johnnie Mask, has refused to allow any law enforcement officials to interrogate Cullen. “I won’t let the other law enforcement agencies talk to my client until they all come together and agree to waive the death penalty,” Mask said. Mask said he told the prosecutor’s office: “We’ll sit down together, but you’ve got to forget about capital punishment. It’s got to be all or nothing. Why waste time trying to execute him? You’ve got all these families out there wondering if their loved ones were one of the victims.”


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