Former Laramie Nurse Sentenced to Probation
A Laramie woman accused of stealing prescription pain medication prescribed to patients at Spring Winds Assisted Living and Memory Care did not contest the charges Wednesday in Albany County Circuit Court.
Andra Lee Cousins, 46, pleaded no contest to three counts of misdemeanor theft. The no contest pleas do not admit guilt, but have essentially the same effect as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.
Judge Robert A. Castor ordered Cousins to spend 18 months on supervised probation with an underlying sentence of 180 days in jail. Cousins will pay a total of $1067.12 in fines and court costs, including $197.12 in restitution.
“I must say that your actions are deplorable,” said Castor.
Court documents say Cousins removed the labels from seven blister packs of Tramadol – a prescription painkiller – and placed them over the top of medications such as Tylenol, Vitamin D and Lasix – a diuretic.
Police say Cousins admitted to often resealing medication packages and that she was prescribed Tramadol.
According to the affidavit, the investigating officer was told that about 60 Tramadol tablets were unaccounted for. The officer later determined that number to be closer to 150 tablets.
Police say two patients did not receive their prescribed Tramadol, and Spring Wind staff determined that one patient given Lasix instead – about 10 times the prescribed dose for eight days.
The affidavit says that patient fell in the middle of the night on Feb. 8, 2015 while trying to use the bathroom – which Spring Wind staff said is why they do not give patients diuretics at bedtime.
“The defendant really took advantage of somebody who was in a very vulnerable position,” said prosecutor Rob Sanford.
The patient’s daughter made a statement before Cousins was sentenced Wednesday.
“Andra, I thought you were my friend,” the daughter said. She went on to say the patient “had a lot of health problems because of the Lasix” that was given to her.
Defense attorney Tom Fleener said Cousins has surrendered her nursing license.