updated 12/15/2003 3:18:41 PM ET 2003-12-15T20:18:41

A former nurse who claims to have killed 30 to 40 patients since 1987 was charged with murder Monday, prosecutors said.

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During a court appearance, Charles Cullen, 43, stood and told the judge, “I am going to plead guilty. I don’t plan to fight this.” He said he did not want a lawyer.

Cullen, of Bethlehem, Pa., was arrested Monday and charged in the June death of a Roman Catholic clergyman and the attempted murder of a 40-year-old woman who were patients at Somerset Medical Center.

Under questioning, Cullen told authorities he had administered lethal doses of drugs to them and had killed many others over the last 16 years at several hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Cullen was ordered held on $1 million bail. It was not immediately known how many more charges he could face.

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