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Jury trial scheduled in federal case: Nurse accused of diluting meds, lying to investigator

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PIKEVILLE – A Salyersville woman accused of diluting medicine while working as a nurse is now set for a jury trial later this year. 

On April 25 a federal grand jury indicted Kelsie Spencer, 24 years old, of Salyersville, charging her with tampering with a consumer product and making a materially false statement to a federal agent.

According to the indictment, on or about November 13, 2018, Spencer allegedly, while working as a nurse in Johnson County, diluted vials of butorphanol tartrate (Stadol), a Schedule IV controlled substance, with saline. 

Then, on November 19, 2018, in Magoffin County, she reportedly told a special agent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that she was not familiar with the AccuDose Rx Station, when she had previously trained on the operation and use of the AccuDose Rx Station while working at Appalachian Regional Healthcare, conducting approximately 1,467 transactions while employed by ARH.

The incidents are believed to have occurred while she worked at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, though she previously had worked at ARH. She is no longer employed by either medical facility.

On May 2, Spencer was arraigned, pleading not guilty to the charges. Michael B. Fox was appointed as counsel for the defendant.

A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for July 10, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in Pikeville, before U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier. The estimated length of the trial is three days.

Following the arraignment hearing, Spencer was released from federal custody under an order setting conditions of release, including the orders that she is to submit to supervision by the United States Probation Office, continue or actively seek employment, get medical or psychiatric treatment as directed by pretrial services, not possess a firearm or weapon, not use any alcohol, participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling if directed by pretrial services, and make full disclosure of pending indictment to any physician prescribing a controlled substance.

If found guilty, Spencer is facing 10 years imprisonment on the first charge and 5 years on the second charge, and a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release on each of the charges. 

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Heather Oney