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Nursing home worker on trial for murder of elderly patient - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Nursing home worker on trial for murder of elderly patient

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Jodi LaClaire Jodi LaClaire
Nita Lowery Nita Lowery
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -

"It's very emotional and very stressful and exhausting," Gail LaHaise said.

LaHaise says time has not healed the wounds of her mother's life being cut short. In 2009, Nita Lowery, 83, was found unconscious in her nursing home room. Thompson House nursing home employee Jodi LaClaire is on trial for second-degree murder.

The Vermont attorney general's office says LaClaire, 37, gave Lowery a shot of insulin that caused her to slip into a coma. Lowery was not diabetic. She died 10 days later in the hospital.

"My mother was determined, she was very generous, my mom was glamorous, my mom was intelligent. And she loved her church and family, especially her three grandchildren above all else," LaHaise said.

But on Thursday in court, the defense was trying to paint a much different picture of Lowery. They presented numerous notes made by nurses at the home indicating she had been drinking. LaClaire's lawyer questioned Lowery's health and if she had a drinking problem or even an eating disorder. For Lowery's daughter, she said those accusations were ridiculous, and she was in reasonable health.

"As my aunt said, it wasn't her time," LaHaise said.

Authorities also say that during the time Lowery was in a coma, LaClaire attempted to steal $8,000 of her money. The Bennington, N.H., woman faces nine charges, including seven counts of financial exploitation of an adult and second-degree murder. For the victim's family, they say they have waiting a long time for this trial.

"I mean it's been four and a half years, and I'm still emotional, very," LaHaise said.

On the stand Thursday was Lowery's family doctor, who testified that she did not believe the elderly woman had a drinking problem and it wasn't a factor in her death.

The trial is expected to last for weeks. There are many circumstantial pieces of evidence surrounding and following her death. Several EMT workers have already testified and the medical examiner will take the stand soon.

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