Nurse Handed 11 Life Sentences for “Mercy Killings”

Thu Mar 2, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By Terry Vanderheyden

SOMERVILLE, New Jersey, March 2, 2006 ( – A New Jersey nurse and serial killer who claimed he was killing the “very sick” and elderly out of compassion has been handed 11 life sentences without possibility of parole for 397 years.

“You betrayed the ancient foundations of the healing professions,” said Superior Court Judge Paul Armstrong, according to an AP report.

Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to 22 counts of premeditated murder, admitting to using lethal doses of hard-to-trace medications like the heart drug digoxin. When finally arrested in 2003, he told police he only killed “very sick” and elderly patients, claiming the murders were for compassion.

Cullen escaped the death penalty in exchange for cooperating with police to solve other murders. He still faces sentencing in Pennsylvania, where he was convicted of seven additional murders.


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