Ex-respiratory therapist accused of killing a second patient

Posted at 7:19 AM, March 2, 2023 and last updated 7:19 AM, March 2, 2023

By: Steve Kaut

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSHB) — A cloud of mystery surrounding the deaths of several patients in the early 2000s at a Chillicothe, Missouri, hospital now includes two murder charges.

Jennifer Hall, who worked as a respiratory therapist, is charged with the murder of a second patient in her care.

Jennifer Hall mugshot

FILE – This undated photo provided by the Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Department shows Jennifer Hall.  Hall, was arrested in Johnson County, Kan., on Thursday, May 12, 2022, under the name Jennifer Semaboye, of Overland Park, Kan., the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office said. (Johnson County Sheriff’s Department via AP File)

Hall, 42, worked at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe from Dec. 16, 2001 through May 21, 2002, when she was placed on administrative leave following the death of patient Fern Franco.

Last year, Hall was charged with allegedly murdering Franco.

On Friday, the Livingston County, Missouri, prosecutor charged Hall with one count of first-degree murder in the March 21, 2002, death of David Wesley Harper.

The death of David Wesley Harper was caused by succinylcholine, which paralyzes the victim’s muscles, including the diaphragm, “causing the victim to suffer a ghastly death from suffocation while still maintaining full consciousness and awareness that they are unable to breath and are dying,” according to the probable cause statement.

Harper, according to a court document, “was a healthy young man with a wife and children who remained in a hospital rather than be discharged only because his doctor asked him to test devices to treat sleep apnea.”

Hall is scheduled to make her initial court appearance in the Harper case on March 1 in Livingston County.

Her trial in the Franco murder case is set to begin May 15 in Clinton County Court, where the case was allowed to be transferred.

This story was originally published Feb. 24 by KSHB in Kansas City, an E.W. Scripps Company.