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INJECTIONS DESCRIBED IN INSULIN DEATH INVESTIGATING NURSE DETAILS HOSPITAL STAY

An investigating nurse testified Tuesday that a Wheatfield man received two small injections of insulin on the day before he was found dead in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center from what later was diagnosed as an insulin overdose.

Michelle Masten is one of two nurses called by special prosecutor Thomas P. Franczyk in the second-degree murder trial of Ann Marie Truscio, 36, who is accused of administering a lethal dose of insulin to Edwin Klein, 74, in June 1988.

Mrs. Masten said the two injections, each of which was four units, were not enough to cause hypoglycemia, low blood sugar serious enough to cause death.

The nurse took the jury through Klein's hospital stay from the time he was admitted on June 25, through his colon surgery on June 27. He died June 30.

The prosecution contends that the fatal injection was given late on June 29 or early on June 30.

Mrs. Masten and Margaret Narby, another nurse, were sent to Niagara Falls to investigate not only Klein's death, but also several other cases of insulin overdoses. None ended in death, but some have resulted in Miss Truscio being charged with assault.

Miss Truscio, a licensed practical nurse at the medical center at the time, was the care nurse for Klein on the 11 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift the day when he was found dead.

The nurses investigated on behalf of Dr. Eric Mitchell, the Onondaga County medical examiner who examined Klein's death at the behest of Niagara County Coroner James Joyce.

Mrs. Masten was scheduled to continue testifying today and was expected to describe the hospital notes written the day Klein died.

The two nurses then will be cross-examined by Dennis P. O'Keefe, Miss Truscio's attorney, in the trial before Wyoming County Judge Mark H. Dadd, on special assignment to Niagara County Court.

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