Authorities in Cullen investigation subpoena two more patient files from Somerset Medical Center

Of The Morning Call

Somerset Medical Center has given two more patient files to authorities investigating former nurse Charles Cullen, who has allegedly admitted killing up to 15 people while he worked at the Somerville hospital.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Roberts confirmed Tuesday that Somerset County prosecutor's office subpoenaed the records for the two additional patients.

The hospital supplied records for six patients when it went to authorities with concerns about Cullen in October.

At least four of those patients died.

Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin said Tuesday that no subpoenas have been issued to local hospitals that employed Cullen between 1998 and 2002.

''We're getting excellent cooperation from hospitals around here. We don't need to issue subpoenas,'' Martin said.

Cullen told authorities he killed up to 40 patients over 16 years to alleviate pain and suffering, according to court documents released Dec. 15 when he was charged in Somerset County.

Cullen, 43, of Bethlehem remains incarcerated on $1 million bail at the Anne Klein Forensic Psychiatric Center in Trenton, charged with murdering a Hunterdon County priest and trying to kill a Basking Ridge woman in June by injecting them with the prescription heart medication digoxin.

Cullen worked at Easton Hospital, St. Luke's in Fountain Hill, Lehigh Valley Hospital's Salisbury Township burn unit and Liberty Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Allentown.

He also worked briefly at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown.

He has been named the chief suspect in the death of Easton Hospital patient Ottomar Schramm and Lehigh County authorities investigated his activities at St. Luke's in 2002.

Meanwhile, attorneys at a Palmer Township law firm say calls are starting to come in from family members concerned that Cullen might have had a role in the deaths of their relatives.

''We got a couple calls, one from Liberty and one from burn center,'' said Dennis Feeley of Cohen & Feeley, which also has an office in Salisbury Township.

Feeley said that any information or evidence developed through the contacts would be referred to law enforcement.

''We have an absolute legal and moral obligation, if something comes forward, to go to the district attorneys and law enforcement with the suspicions,'' Feeley said.

Other attorneys in Lehigh County reported only sporadic calls related to the Cullen case.


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