DA's office brings formal charges against TMH nurse

The District Attorney's office Thursday filed a five-count complaint against a nurse who allegedly stole and consumed patients' pain medication at The Memorial Hospital.

Laurel Ann Johnson, 39, also was released from Moffat County Jail Wednesday night after posting a $10,000 bond. She is formally charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, which are class-four felonies, two counts of unlawful use of a schedule II controlled substance, which are class-five felonies, and one count of class-three misdemeanor theft.

The Craig woman is scheduled to appear again before Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Craig police have said the case is still under investigation. Johnson allegedly used her nurse's key to access a narcotics lock-box at TMH, taking supplies of Demerol and Morphine, according to court documents.

Patients TMH said through a Nov. 6 press release prescribed to receive the painkillers have been notified of the incidents, but police continue to look into the number of occurrences.

Additional charges could be brought against the nurse, who is believed to have stolen medication while on-and off-duty, Craig police have said.

Johnson was removed from contact with patients in late September.

At a Wednesday court hearing, James also placed a mandatory restraining order against Johnson contacting various personnel working at TMH, with exception of required hospitalization.

Johnson also was ordered to submit to a drug test upon release on bond, while enrolling in a drug-monitoring program through the county's Corrective Alternative Placement

Systems.

Johnson faces two to six years in state prison if convicted, or, one to 12 years if a judge finds mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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