"Ms Hepatitis C" Pleads Guilty, Agrees to 20 Year Sentence

Kristen Parker, the hospital surgical tech infected with Hepatitis C, who stole syringes filled with Fentanyl intended for surgery patients, shot herself up, and then filled her dirty syringes with saline and replaced them on the rack in the OR, exposing thousands of patients to Hepatitis C and infecting at least 16, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Denver, agreeing to a 20 year sentence. Her trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

The plea agreement (which I just read but won't post in its entirety unless the MSM does) states the parties have agreed to a a 20 year sentence under Rule 11 ©(1)(c.) Her guidelines for the counts to which she pleaded guilty were 235 to 293 months. Had she gone to trial on just the counts she pleaded guilty to and lost, she wouldn't have received the 3 points for acceptance of responsibility and her guidelines would have been 324 - 405 months. [More...]

According to the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, 35 of the infected patients had a match for Hepatitis C, Genotype 1b associated with Parker. More elaborate genetic sequencing testing was performed in 16 cases, and in all of them, it was determined with 97% probability that Parker was the source of these patients' infections.

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    What a peach. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:14:31 PM EST

    She gave a new meaning (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:25:46 PM EST
    to "needle exchange program".

    I read another article about her - apparently she wasn't honest when she started her personal needle exchange program, but now the science and evidence are stacking up and the truth is painfully clear that she did it as soon as she could and as often as she could.

    The cost is staggering.  Over 6,000 patients tested for Hep C and then the very expensive genetic testing for those who tested positive.  There is the cost of treatments for the patients, which may or may not work.  And finally, the cost in lost health, productivity, income and life expectancy of those infected.

    She's actually getting off lightly.  If they could have proved she knew she was infected with hepatitis C, there would have been additional charges.


    One mystery cleared up. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:16:19 PM EST
    How did she - after being fired for testing positive for Fentanyl - manage to land another job as a surgical tech?
    Audubon Surgery Center snapped her up and honored her request not to contact her previous employer.

    Brilliant, eh?  I hope whoever made that decision paid dearly for it.  

    Rose hospital should have notified (none / 0) (#4)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:54:17 PM EST
    whichever state agency was responsible for her license. Then Audubon surgery center should have contacted the state agency before they hired her. That is the procedure used for R.N.'s and L.V.N.'s and if they are reported their record is open to propsective employers.  The licensed nurse is still awarded her/his due process for firings of such a nature, but this woman should have been required to tell her side of the story before Audubon hired her.  It may be that surgical techs are not licensed and in that case they are "cheap labor" and there is no insurance for the center. That is the risk they take when they make foolish hiring decisions.  

    She hired on (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Fabian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:08:02 PM EST
    less than two weeks after she was fired.  The positive drug test had been forwarded to the proper agencies, but they probably hadn't begun any investigations yet.

    When I was hired on to a hospital, I think it took them at least ten working days to do the necessary checks - police record, employer contacts and so on.  I'd suspect the last employer(a surgery center) of not having a rigorous screening procedure.  A potential employee not wanting me to talk to any previous employer, especially the most recent one would be a red flag to me.


    that's what i thought too. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 06:35:20 AM EST
    A potential employee not wanting me to talk to any previous employer, especially the most recent one would be a red flag to me.

    it would be one thing if she was still employed by them, i could understand her concern. clearly not the case here.

    i read about these people who lie on their resumes', touting degrees and credentials they don't have, and getting hired for really well paying jobs. i think to myself, "geez, maybe i'm doing something wrong, by being brutally honest. i could be making twice what i am now, and i actually know what i'm doing." but then i figure, they'll check it out and realize i lied.

    clearly, i'm an idiot.

    Clearly (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:32:57 AM EST
    You don't have a habit of deceiving others at the drop of a hat!

    When she was caught with an uncapped syringe, she immediately dropped it into a sharps container.  Likely not because she knew that's where it should be put, but because she knew it was a good place to lose evidence.  (How would you tell which syringe she put in?)