TMH nurse receives 5-day jail sentence
Court officials agreed Tuesday that a nurse from The Memorial Hospital who previously pleaded guilty to obtaining a prescription drug illegally would probably not appear in front of a judge again.
Because of his diligence in undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment and an expressed regret for his actions, longtime nurse William Bertram, 30, received the least possible jail time for his guilty plea — five days in the Moffat County Jail.
“You do appear to be on the right track,” District Judge Paul McLimans said. “You appear to be a good candidate for deferred judgment.”
Bertram was charged in a July 23 incident for trying to obtain the drug Percocet from City Market using a prescription pad and forged signature from Dr. Thomas Told, said Amy Fitch, chief deputy district attorney.
Bertram’s possible sentence could have been up to 30 days in jail according to a plea agreement brokered by prosecutors and Bertram’s defense attorney, Kris Hammond. Bertram was originally charged with three felony counts, but two were dismissed in the deal.
Bertram will serve his jail time in 48-hour increments on the weekends before Christmas.
The leniency of the judge’s decision to let Bertram serve his sentence during off-work days was in part because of the positive recommendations from both prosecutors and defense.
“It seems like we have every reason to hope not to see him back in here again,” Fitch said.
Hammond said of Bertram, “it appears that he has cooperated fully with authorities and done everything everybody has asked of him.”
Hospital officials have said that Bertram is no longer allowed access to controlled substances. He is required to submit random and weekly drug and alcohol screenings to the Colorado Board of Nursing, which also requires him to participate in therapy and meetings.
According to TMH policy, Bertram would be terminated if he violates the program.
Hospital officials also said that the employee of 10 years consistently receives positive reviews from patients.
Bertram’s sentence includes four years supervised probation, 200 hours of public service and more than $3,000 in fines. More jail time may ensue if he violates terms of his probation, McLimans said.
“I am truly sorry for what I did,” Bertram told the judge. “I know that I made some poor decisions. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve done a lot of work through therapy and the requirements are strict.”
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com
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