Man with Life Sentence Paroled after 35 Years
A Colonial Heights man who’s murder conviction sent him to prison on a life sentence in 1975 isn’t behind bars anymore.
56-year-old Lee Roy Hargrave, Jr. was paroled at the end of December after serving 35 years for the murder of 73-year-old Josephine Thomas. He injected her with the heart drug lidocaine. Hargrave worked as a nurses’s aide in the coronary care unit at Petersburg General Hospital. He was charged with murdering six elderly patients in June of 1974 but only tried in the case of the former school teacher.
Hospital officials never said how many patients died while Hargrave was in the coronary care unit working the overnight shift but did confirm at least 12 deaths under “suspicious circumstances.” At trial, the Progress Index reports, it was disclosed that Hargrave was the person who reported 26 of 31 patients whose vital signs stopped during the month he was there.