A former nursing assistant at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., was sentenced to one year of probation in federal court for lying to federal agents investigating the death of one of her patients.

Prosecutors said 52-year-old Patricia A. Waible, 52, of Nashua was supposed to be watching her patient, but instead she was playing video games as her patient died, according to the Boston Herald.

Federal records show Waible was sentenced Friday in a Boston federal court. She was initially charged with two counts of making false statements and agreed to plead guilty to both counts.

According to court documents, Waible was working the overnight shift on July 3, 2016. She was supposed to be conducting hourly checks on patients’ breathing during her shift.

“Early that morning, a patient who suffered from several serious medical ailments was found unresponsive and not breathing,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The patient was transferred by ambulance to an emergency room, where he was later pronounced dead.”

Authorities said Waible lied to federal agents and claimed she had conducted the hourly checks on the patients during her shift.

The name of the patient who died is not listed in court documents, but the patient’s family identified him as 68-year-old Bill Nutter, a Vietnam veteran and retired police detective, the Boston Globe reports.

Waible documented that she conducted hourly checks, but investigators said video surveillance showed she was not conducting the checks. She later admitted to skipping hourly checks for Nutter.

Nutter’s daughter, whose name is redacted in court records, said in a letter to the court that her father was a dedicated soldier and police officer.

“My father might or might not have lived if they had found him at that time, but we will never know because the nurse was not doing her job and caring for him,” the daughter wrote. “My father was a great man and sacrificed his entire life for this country and I hope that the court will do what is right for my father.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2019