ST. LOUIS (AP) — A nurse who was fired from a troubled veterans home in St. Louis for raising concerns about a colleague who was later convicted in a triple murder has won a $72,000 settlement from the state.
The settlement goes to Margaret Coulter, who had been a registered nurse supervisor at the St. Louis Veterans Home in north St. Louis County when she was fired in 2017 after informing police that Jerome Leon Buress Jr. worked at the home, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Coulter’s lawsuit against the Missouri Veterans Commission recounts that she told a Ferguson police officer that Buress, who was wanted in the killings, worked at the home. She then told the home’s administrator about Buress, saying she was worried about the safety of veterans and their families. Buress was arrested within a day. Five days later, the lawsuit said, Coulter was fired and was told by the administrator that it was “because she spoke to the police regarding Buress,” her lawsuit said.
Buress is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting 24-year-old Jessica Garth and 27-year-old Derrick Irving in front of their daughters. He then fatally shot 37-year-old Julian Hayes as Hayes tried to escape, then shot 7-year-old Deniya Irving in the head. She survived but suffered brain damage.