Trial begins Tuesday for former Pine Belt nurse charged with murder

Trial begins Tuesday for former Pine Belt nurse charged with murder
April Grissom

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A registered nurse, who was working at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg, was indicted in June 2013 by a Lamar County grand jury on a second-degree murder charge.

April Denae Grissom, of Petal, is set to stand trial beginning Tuesday in Lamar County.

According to court records, soon after arriving for her shift on March 26, 2013, at Wesley Medical Center, Grissom "without doctors' orders ... turned off the dialysis machine along with the amiodarone drip and decreased the norepinephrine and phenylephrine drips, thereby causing the death of Louis F. Betz Jr."

Betz, who was 77, was admitted to Wesley Medical Center on March 15, 2013, for a surgical procedure for colon cancer.

Post-surgery issues caused Betz to be moved into the intensive care unit on March 23. According to documents, another surgery was performed March 25 and following the surgery was placed on multiple machines along with drugs to treat, among other conditions, acute renal failure and reduced blood pressure.

Grissom turned herself in to investigators with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and was charged with depraved heart murder.

According to Mississippi law, the second-degree murder charge is defined as; "a depraved indifference to human life, recklessly engaged in conduct creating a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby caused the death of another person."

Grissom was booked into the Lamar County Jail, where she was later released on $10,000 bail.

If convicted in a jury trial, Grissom could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.