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Former Nurse Taken Sick at Trial

September 24, 1999

BRAZIL, Ind. (AP) _ A former nurse charged with killing seven elderly patients with drug injections was hurried from court to a hospital today, suffering from what the judge later called a ``nervous stomach.″

Orville Lynn Majors Jr. became ill about five minutes after his attorneys began presenting their case and was taken from the courthouse in an ambulance.

He was released about two hours later and returned to jail.

Judge Ernest Yelton, who had dismissed the jury until next week, followed Majors to the hospital. He said doctors determined Majors’ blood pressure was elevated and the initial diagnosis was acute gastritis.

``The doctor said the best way to explain that is he had a very nervous stomach brought on by irritation and anxiety,″ Yelton said. ``The doctor is very comfortable he will be able to return to court on Monday.″

Lead defense attorney I. Marshall Pinkus said Majors has high blood pressure and diabetes and has been receiving medication for the ailments while in jail.

``His stomach was real upset this morning. He does have high blood pressure. He just didn’t act the same to me. He looked pretty pale,″ Pinkus said.

Majors, 38, faces life in prison if convicted in the deaths of the patients at Vermillion County Hospital. His trial began Sept. 7.

Prosecutors said medical experts will testify that each death was consistent with injections of potassium chloride. Vials containing traces of the drug and syringes were found at Majors’ home and in his van, police said.

Majors and his lawyers say all of the patients died of natural causes.

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