Hays woman pleads guilty to mistreating dependent father

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A Hays woman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of mistreatment of a dependent adult and a drug crime, according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Nichole Denee Burns, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of mistreatment of a dependent adult and one count of possession of an opiate, opium, narcotic or certain stimulant. Both counts were felonies.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Hays Police Department and the attorney general’s Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division. The attorney general alleged that while Burns was caring for her father, who was prescribed fentanyl patches to manage his pain, she would remove the patches, use them herself, and then reapply the used patch to her father. The defendant’s father was later admitted to the emergency room in severe pain because he was not receiving his prescribed medication from the used patch. The crimes occurred between November 2016 and January 2017.

Magistrate Judge Richard Flax accepted the plea in Ellis County District Court. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Paul Brothers of Schmidt’s office.

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