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Former Asante Nurse Pleaded Not Guilty to 44 Counts of Felony Assault

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Former nurse Dani Marie Schofield pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging her with 44 counts of second-degree assault on suspicion of harming nearly four dozen patients in Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit by stealing fentanyl prescribed to them to ease their pain.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Laura Cromwell on Friday told Schofield that she did not qualify financially for a court-appointed lawyer and no defense lawyer was present as the judge kept Schofield's bail at $4 million despite a pretrial officer's recommendation to lower it to $1 million.

Schofield complained to the court that she's been locked down in isolation in jail, hasn't received her medication, has had no contact with anyone and barely has running water. She said she believes her family has contacted a lawyer to represent her and asked the judge how they should inform the court.

According to the Oregonian, the judge instructed Schofield to file a grievance with the jail about the conditions and that a retained lawyer should contact the court. A pretrial conference was scheduled for June 24th.

Police and prosecutors say Schofield took patients' fentanyl for her own personal use and replaced the liquid drug with non-sterile tap water, causing them to develop life-threatening infections. She was arrested Thursday near Shady Cove.

During a Thursday afternoon news conference, Medford Police Chief Justin Ivens said of the 44 patients identified, 16 died -- most in the hospital but others after they were discharged.

The allegations range from July 25, 2022, through July 25, 2023, when Schofield stopped working at the hospital. Each count of second-degree assault alleges that Schofield "knowingly" caused "serious physical injury."

Chief Ivens said the indictment resulted from a seven-month investigation into alleged drug diversion at the hospital. Two detectives and a supervisor were assigned to the criminal investigation after the hospital conducted an internal investigation.
Posted on 6/15/24 6:23AM by Sam Marsh