JUNEAU — A former nurse was found guilty of reduced charges on Monday after taking narcotic drugs that were meant to go to residents in a Watertown nursing home.
Melanie J. Hunter, 39, Watertown, was originally charged with a felony count of intentionally abusing residents-causing bodily harm. Hunter entered into a plea agreement and entered no contest pleas to three misdemeanor counts of theft of movable property.
Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Brian Pfitzinger accepted Hunter’s pleas and found her guilty. Pfitzinger withheld sentencing and placed Hunter on probation for 24 months. As conditions of her probation, Hunter must maintain absolute sobriety. She may not have contact with the victim or facility except a letter she will write to apologize that will be forwarded by her probation officer. She must participate in treatment if suggested to her. In addition, she must serve 60 days in jail.
According to the criminal complaint, Hunter was employed at the Watertown nursing home when the owner became suspicious that Hunter was taking narcotic prescription drugs from the health center while she worked.
Watertown Police were called March 17, 2019, 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 indicated in paperwork that she had given the medication 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 the nursing home 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.
Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.
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