Nurse accused of drug theft has charges dropped

The Detroit News

Mount Clemens — A nurse from Rockwood who was accused of stealing morphine from a Mount Clemens medical facility she worked at has had the charges against her dropped, the Macomb Daily reports.

Karen Lynn Spearman, 53, stood accused of removing morphine from three vials on her medical cart at the Martha T. Berry medical facility in January, replacing the morphine with water, and hitting a colleague with her car on the way out of the facility.

The alleged theft was discovered at a 7 a.m. shift change, facility officials said at the time. An oncoming day-shift nurse, a seven-year employee at the facility, was taking over the medical cart from Spearman, a temp agency nurse. Following protocol, the day-shift employee inspected the medication and noticed leaks in the the sealed morphine vials. Upon further inspection, she found puncture holes in the vials, officials said.

In January, Spearman was arraigned at 41-B District Court in Clinton Township on one count felony larceny in a building, two counts felony adulterating/misbranding drugs or medicine, and one count misdemeanor operating with a suspended license. She faces four years on the larceny charge, two years each for the drug charges and 93 days on the misdemeanor charge.

The Martha T. Berry medical facility opened in 1950 and provides long-term medical care to low-income Macomb County residents.It is the only county-owned medical care center within Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, according to the facility.

Nurse Jackie Solowski, who worked the shift after Spearman, “testified that when she wrapped up her previous 12-hour shift one day earlier, on Jan. 12, she turned the medicine cart over to a nurse named Jessica instead of Spearman because Spearman was late for work that day,” the Daily reported, but the case began to fall apart when an attorney with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said the morphine vials had never been tested.

“There’s been no evidence Karen Spearman took anything from Martha T. Berry. No one found anything on Karen Spearman. We have no idea what those bottles contained,” said defense attorney Paul Stockyj, according to the Daily.

“For all we know, something was wrong with those bottles before she assumed custody of those bottles,” Judge Carrie Fuca said, as quoted by the Daily.

The misdemeanor charge Spearman faced for driving on a suspended license will be handled separately, also at 41-B District Court, the Macomb Daily reported.