Respiratory therapist accused of murdering patient makes first court appearance in Johnson County
Officers had tracked Jennifer Hall to an extended stay hotel in Overland Park near I-435 and Metcalf.
OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) - Jennifer Hall, a former respiratory therapist charged with murdering a patient in 2002, appeared in Johnson County Court on Friday afternoon.
U.S. Marshals, assisted by the Overland Park Police Department, arrested Hall Thursday night. Officers had tracked Hall to an extended stay hotel in Overland Park near I-435 and Metcalf.
Officer John Lacy, a spokesperson for the Overland Park police, said Hall was taken into custody without incident. She is awaiting extradition to Livingston County, Missoui, where the charges originated.
“I’m just glad we can bring some of this to a resolution now that she’s in custody,” Lacy said. “I understand that the families have wanted closure.”
According to KCTV5′s previous reporting, Hall worked at Hedrick Medical Center from December 2001 - May 2002. During her employment, the rate of cardiac collapse incidents “rose alarmingly,” a probable cause document stated. Investigators stated 18 such incidents were recorded during her employment at the hospital, when the hospital had one incident per year on average.
The court document stated that from those 18 cases of cardiac collapse, nine people died. Staff had believed Hall was responsible for the patient deaths and administration ordered Hall to be monitored.
One patient, Fern Franco, was found dead in the morning hours of May 18, 2002.
Franco’s granddaughter, Aprille Franco, said she was glad to see Hall in custody. She hoped it would help her family find closure after waiting for nearly two decades.
“Maybe her soul can rest,” Franco said, “and she can go where she’s supposed to go, knowing there are people who are out here caring about her.”
Hall’s attorney, Matthew O’Connor, called the arrest frustrating. He said he had been in talks with the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office to allow Hall to turn herself in prior to the arrest in Overland Park.
O’Connor said in previous interviews that no evidence connected Hall to Franco’s death.
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