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INVESTIGATIVE NURSE TESTIFIES IN INSULIN DEATH WITNESS FOR PROSECUTION TAKES STAND IN FALLS TRIAL

An investigating nurse testified Tuesday that a Wheatfield man received two small injections of insulin on the day before he was found dead at 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 of 1988.

Mrs. Masten said the two injections, each of which was four units, were not enough to cause hypoglycemia, a low blood sugar count, 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 the 27th. He died June 30, 1988.

The prosecution contends that the fatal injection was given late on June 29 or early on June 30, 1988.

Mrs. Masten and Margaret Narby are nurses who were sent to Niagara Falls to investigate not only Klein's death, but several other cases of insulin overdoses, none of which ended in death, but some of which have led Miss Truscio to be charged with assault.

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

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

Mrs. Masten is scheduled to continue on the witness stand today to describe the hospital notes written the day Klein died.

The two then will be cross-examined by Miss Truscio's attorney, Dennis P. O'Keefe. Presiding is Wyoming County Judge Mark H. Dadd.

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