JUNEAU — A registered nurse was charged Wednesday with taking narcotic drugs that were meant to go to residents in a Watertown nursing home.
Melanie J. Hunter, 39, Watertown, is charged with intentionally abusing residents-causing bodily harm. She could face up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the charge.
According to the criminal complaint, Hunter was employed at Dycora Transitional Health, 121 Hospital Drive, when the owner became suspicious that Hunter was taking narcotic prescription drugs from the health center while she worked. A registered nurse became suspicious while working with Hunter.
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Watertown Police were called March 17 about the suspicions after Hunter was found in the medication room with Hydromorphone, a Schedule II narcotic. The medicine was prescribed to a resident who said that she never asked for the narcotic. According to the criminal complaint, Hunter had indicted in paperwork that she had given the medicine to the resident.
In addition, residents told authorities that Hunter had at times given them the wrong pill when they did ask for their prescription medicine. According to the criminal complaint, Hunter had told staff at Dycora that she had stolen one to two pills a night from residents or about 10 pills per week for about seven months. She allegedly admitted to using Claritin to replace the Oxycodone pills.
Hunter’s initial appearance will be July 29.