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AN ex-nurse has avoided jail time after killing a 75-year-old patient by giving her the wrong drugs.

RaDonda Vaught broke down in tears on Friday as she addressed the patient's family in court.

RaDonda Vaught is seen in court apologizing to Charlene Murphey's familyCredit: AP
During her apology, Vaught broke down in tearsCredit: AP

Vaught was sentenced to three years probation after a lengthy court battle in Nashville, Tennessee.

In March, she was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult after accidentally giving her 75-year-old patient, Charlene Murphey, the wrong medicine in 2017, according to USA Today.

"Saying I'm sorry doesn’t seem like enough, but you deserve to hear that and know that I am very sorry for what happened," Vaught told the Murphey family in court.

If Vaught completes the terms of her probation, the charges will be wiped from her record in the future.



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Supporters of Vaught, many of them healthcare professionals, celebrated after the sentencing.

People from across the country spent weeks urging the judge not to sentence Vaught to prison for her mistake. Some even threatened to quit their job if Vaught was sentenced to prison time.

Vaught's case spurred debate across the medical community about medical errors and the concern over the former nurse being held criminally responsible for Murphey's death.

Vaught immediately took responsibility for her role in Murphey's death.

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She went on to say that when Murphey died, a part of her did as well.

Vaught is no longer a licensed nurse, due to her error.

"This was a terrible, terrible mistake," Judge Jennifer Smith said.

"And there have been consequences to the defendant."

State prosecutors argued for Vaught to have a tougher sentence, alleging she abused her role as a medical practitioner, according to NBC News 10.

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However, Vaught's team argued that aside from the deadly mistake, Vaught was an excellent nurse, and that multiple factors contributed to her making the fatal error.

Michael Murphey, the son of Charlene Murphy, said in court that his mother was a forgiving person and wouldn't want Vaught to serve jail time over this, NBC News 10 reported.

Charlene Murphey died after receiving the wrong medication from Vaught in 2017Credit: Facebook/Allen Murphey

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