Ex-nurse gets time in prison (patient abuse; gave them laxatives)
Akron Beacon Journal ^ | 3/5/2005 | Gina Mace

Posted on 03/07/2005 12:26:34 PM PST by Born Conservative

Woman, 28, gave laxatives to five nursing home patients to make mess for co-worker at facility

MEDINA - A former nurse who gave laxatives to five elderly nursing home patients to get back at a co-worker was sentenced Friday to 10 months in prison.

Kim Koha, also known as Moenich, 28, had pleaded guilty to five counts of patient abuse.

During the sentencing hearing, Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler told Koha that she can apply for an early release after she serves five months. She surrendered her nursing license when the abuse was discovered.

Koha wept openly as her attorney read excerpts of letters written by her former co-workers to Kimbler. The letters described Koha -- a wife and the mother of a 4-year-old -- as kind, compassionate, loving and thoughtful.

A nursing home resident Koha cared for wrote that Koha was an ``angel'' who brought sunshine into his life after he had lost his desire to live.

``She has done more for me than anyone has ever done,'' he wrote. ``When God struck the mold for nurses, he must have had Kim in mind.''

But on May 30, Koha was more vengeful than compassionate. The former licensed practical nurse gave milk of magnesia to five residents of Wildwood Care Center on Hadcock Road in Brunswick, knowing it would act as a laxative. She told a probation officer that she did it to get back at the day-shift nurse.

County assistant prosecutor Matt Razavi told Kimbler that four of the residents have since died -- although not as a result of the incident. ``They were extremely elderly and suffered from advanced medical conditions,'' he said.

Koha apologized, and told Kimbler that she was ashamed and embarrassed. She asked -- through her attorney -- to be able to serve a sentence that would not take her away from her family.

But Koha's tearful apology and the glowing character references weren't enough to keep Kimbler from putting her behind bars.

``You used the body of someone entrusted to your care to get back at someone else,'' Kimbler said. ``It is, quite frankly, a very mean thing to do and apparently well thought out.''

Kimbler said he was sympathetic to Koha's desire to stay with her family.

``But I did not bring about the circumstances that brought you here,'' Kimbler said. ``You did that.''