Judges slap NJ killer nurse with seven additional life sentences

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Pennsylvania judges added seven additional life sentences to the prison term of New Jersey killer nurse Charles Cullen.

Cullen disrupted his afternoon sentencing hearing in Pennsylvania when he repeatedly uttered the phrase, "Your honor, you need to step down." The judge ordered court officers to gag the defendant. Despite using cloth, then duct tape, Cullen kept speaking. The gag was later removed and the hearing continued amid Cullen's disruptions.

Friday's rulings bring Cullen's punishment to a total of 18 life sentences. The defendant admitted giving lethal overdoses to seven patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania. Cullen killed at least 29 people in New Jersey and Connecticut. Authorities believe that number may actually be as high as 40 victims.

Cullen escaped the death penalty after agreeing to help prosecutors in seven counties identify patients to whom he had given lethal overdoses. He claims to have killed 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career. He will serve his prison sentence in New Jersey.

Related Stories:Judge sentences NJ killer nurse Cullen to 11 life terms Killer nurse to face victims' families in New Jersey courtroom Former nurse and admitted killer confesses to murder of Jersey City judge Killer nurse admits murdering more patients at Hunterdon Medical Center

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