Louisville, KY- A terminally-ill man, David Allan Satterfield, could have gotten away with a killing an elderly woman in a Kentucky nursing home almost a decade ago, but, instead he called police and offered a confession.
Satterfield was initially a suspect, but police never had enough evidence to arrest him and the case went cold until last week when he voluntarily came forward telling police he deserves to spend the rest of his days in the correctional system.
Satterfield worked as temp for Select Nursing Services when he was hired by the Parkway Extended Care Center in Louisville in 2005. He worked only 20 shifts throughout a two year period but it only took one shift for him to change the lives of one family, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
On July 4th, 2005, the Parkway Center was short staffed and called Satterfield to see if he would come in and work the overnight shift. He agreed, but as the morning shift came into work they not one but three residents with dangerously low blood sugar levels. One of those patients, 86-year-old Marcelline Katherine Sommer Vale, would lose her life as a result of insulin overdose.
The Louisville Courier Journal reported that one of the nurses noticed Satterfield go into Vale’s room the morning of her overdose. The woman also told investigators that Satterfield killed Vale on the head and told her “I love you.” His behavior seemed strange and pushed him to the top of the suspect list.
Police and Vale’s family suspected Satterfield was responsible for the overdose but they could never prove it.
The July 4th shift was the last time Satterfield worked at the Parkway Center but he has worked at least 15 other facilities since 2005. Now police will be carefully combing through Satterfield’s work history in Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee to see if there are any additional suspicious overdoses.
Vale’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the Parkway Center which they settled a couple for years later for an undisclosed amount.
We discuss nursing home abuse a great deal and we can sound like a broken record when it comes to staffing. We frequently say the inadequately staffed homes make patients for vulnerable to neglect and abuse and this story just adds another dimension to how important adequate and well-trained staff is to the safety of long-term care facility residents in Kentucky.
Abuse and neglect, and in this case outright murder, arise out of opportunity.While the overwhelming majority of people who work in nursing homes do so because they want to help others, there are others, though rare, who harm residents either willfully or unwillingly and sometimes hasten their death.
If you have a family member who is neglected or dies as result of a medication error, mistreatment or untreated medical condition, a Louisville nursing home attorney will fight for your rights and assure you are fairly compensated for your pain and anguish.
For more information regarding someone who can assist you with an abused or neglected loved one, contact NHAA now for more details.