WOODSTOCK — On Wednesday, a Timberville woman pleaded guilty to several charges related to a September incident at Consulate Healthcare in Woodstock involving stealing drugs from patients.
Wednesday’s sentencing was hindered by a lack of sentencing guidelines, provided by the commonwealth, but Bryan Layton, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said the charges would not require any jail time. Judge Kevin C. Black said he would proceed with sentencing but needed Layton to provide guidelines as soon as possible. Black said this was the first time he had proceeded with sentencing without guidelines.
Susan Cassidy Gerado-Stewart, 72, entered an Alford plea of guilty — acknowledging the commonwealth had enough evidence to find her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt — to three counts of obtaining a prescription by fraud and three counts of abusing an incapacitated adult. She also pleaded no contest to two charges of abuse of an incapacitated adult.
According to evidence provided by the commonwealth, Gerado-Stewart was working at Consulate Healthcare on Aug. 5 when the person who relieved her found discrepancies on the chart for prescriptions. According to testimony provided to the commonwealth, the number of pills did not match the chart. Gerado-Stewart had access to the pills and the chart, but said she did not know why the pill count was incorrect.
All of the pills missing required a prescription.
At the time she was questioned, the commonwealth said, Gerado-Stewart appeared to be under the influence of something but had her own prescription for some medications.
The abuse charges came from the potential harm that could fall on the residents who did not receive their medications.
In a plea deal, victims of a crime are consulted before the commonwealth approves a deal. Black noted that the victims involved in the case may not know that they were victims of anything.
Layton said that no residents suffered any long-term effects from the missing medications. If any of the victims did suffer, he said, the charges the commonwealth brought against Gerado-Stewart would have been different.
Gerado-Stewart’s deal leaves her on supervised probation for one year in which time she must participate in any educational program deemed necessary for her recovery. Black also said she has to remain drug- and alcohol-free (besides prescription medications).