Judge Rejects Plea Deal for Ms. Hepatitis C
As part of her plea deal, she had to explain on video how she committed the crime.
Some new revelations came out in the video. One of the issues between the surgery patients at Rose Hospital and Rose is that Rose only has been willing to compensate patients who developed the disease if there is a 95% or greater chance their Hepatitis C came from Parker. Some of the patients who subsequently developed the disease appear to have a different strain. [More...]
On the video, Parker said she sometimes brought the stolen fentanyl home and others besides her shot it up and then she would take the dirty needles which she had filled with saline back to Rose and replace them (where they were given to surgery patients.) So, Parker not only allowed herself to infect patients, she may have allowed others to do so.
“Were there other people at your house that possibly could have had access to the needles?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena in the debriefing.
“Yes,” Parker admitted tearfully.
“Other drug users?” Pena pressed.
In court today, the Judge said the 20 year plea deal did not give him enough discretion and leeway in sentencing Parker, and didn't take into consideration the depositions of the victims. Because the plea was under Rule 11 ©(1)©, she now gets to withdraw her guilty plea and go to trial, or she and the Government can come up with another agreement that will meet with the Judge's approval.
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 probably would not have received 3 points for acceptance of responsibility and her guidelines would have been 324 - 405 months.
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.
And now, there are patients with a different strain who possibly were infected from others Parker allowed to use the fentanyl-filled needles.
But, isn't there a problem? She gave the videotaped statement as part of her plea agreement. The agreement states that if she fully cooperates, information obtained statements she gives during her cooperation won't be used against her at sentencing. If the plea deal is withdrawn, how can they use her admissions about others using the needles against her, when she is the only source for the information? I don't think they can. I think the Judge could max her out using a variety of other reasons, but not that one.
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