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Killer Nurse: 360 Years

Former nurse Orville Lynn Majors was sentenced Monday to the maximum sentence possible, 360 years, for killing six hospital patients under his care.

Majors, 38, was convicted Oct. 17 of giving lethal injections to six patients at Vermillion County Hospital in west-central Indiana. He had originally been charged with seven deaths but jurors could not reach a decision on the seventh patient.

Majors still maintains his innocence and his lawyers are appealing the verdict.

Judge Ernest Yelton condemned Majors for the diabolical nature of the crime, committed in a hospital where the six victims had gone to be cured of their illnesses.

"It is the judgment of this court that the maximum penalty is the minimally reasonable sentence in this case," Yelton said, staring at Majors.

"At long last, may the souls of Mary Ann Alderson, Dorothea Dixon, Luella Hopkins, Freddie Dale Wilson, Derek Maxwell and Cecil Smith rest in peace," Yelton said, concluding the sentencing hearing that had lasted less than an hour.

The patients died in a 13-month span between 1993 and 1995. Majors had contended the elderly patients died of the ailments that put them in the hospital.

Majors sat a few feet from the witness stand where three of the victims' relatives made emotional pleas for the longest possible sentence.

"Mr. Majors, if you don't want the fruit of sin, then stay out of the devil's orchard," said Derek Maxwell's wife, Kathryn.

Defense attorney Carolyn Rader offered no evidence that might have lessened the sentence, saying she did not believe it would make a difference.

Prosecutors said the deaths were consistent with injections of potassium chloride, epinephrine or both. Police found containers of those drugs at Majors' house and in his van.

With six murder convictions to his name, Majors will be the most prolific killer in the state's prison system.

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