Former PBH nurse pleads guilty to refilling pain meds with saline

Kelsie Spencer

A nurse who formerly practiced in Johnson County and was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly misusing a machine dispensing pain medication has entered a plea agreement in the case.

According to the plea agreement, in November 2018, Kelsie Spencer, 24, of Mine Fork Road, Salyersville, tampered with the consumer product butorphanol tartrate, also known as Stadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance, by removing vials of the drug from a supply area at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, where she was employed at the time.

She then “used a syringe to inject a saline solution back into these vials in an effort to conceal this criminal activity,” the plea agreement says.

Spencer “acted with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury if health care personnel had attempted to utilize those drugs on a patient that might have actually needed them,” the agreement said.

The statutory punishment for tampering with a consumer product includes a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. To that count, court records show, Spencer has pleaded guilty.

As part of Spencer’s sentencing guidelines, the agreement notes that Spencer did not act with intent to cause death or bodily injury, and no such harm occurred as a result of her actions.

It does not mention her specific sentencing, but does say that the “the parties agree that the court should consider a downward departure (from the statutory guidelines).

Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 21 in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

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