CEDAR RAPIDS — A federal judge ruled last week that a former Manchester nurse will remain in jail pending sentencing because she had violated pretrial release while awaiting trial for stealing hydrocodone and morphine pills from nursing home patients.
Katie Louise Boll, 31, pleaded guilty last month in U.S. District Court to one count of acquiring controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge, and one count of tampering with a consumer product.
Court documents show that Boll, while awaiting trial, failed to appear for random drug testing and tested positive for methamphetamine use on three occasions. Also, she did not participate in substance abuse treatment.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Roberts revoked Boll’s pretrial release in August, and she has been in jail since that time.
When Boll pleaded guilty to two of the 12 charges filed against her, she asked the court to release her pending sentencing.
U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams ruled last week that while some facts are mitigating, such as her being a lifelong resident of Iowa and having stable residency and no criminal history, there also are aggravating facts. She is unemployed and committed five violations on pretrial release, all involving her use of meth and not complying with substance abuse evaluations.
Williams concluded that, given her pattern, she will likely continue to abuse controlled substances if released pending sentencing.
Another factor that weighed in favor of detention is Boll’s repeated drug use that presents a “clear danger to the community,” he ruled.
Boll, as a former nurse with Good Neighbor Society in Manchester, admitted in a plea agreement she acquired hydrocodone prescribed from two patients for her own use on at least 50 occasions between September 2018 and January 2019. Boll swapped the hydrocodone pills for over-the-counter pills containing acetaminophen.
She also admitted to stealing a morphine oral solution that was prescribed for a hospice patient and used mouthwash to dilute the drug in an attempt to hide her theft on Dec. 24, 2018, court documents show.
According to the plea, she then took controlled substances from 10 other patients by swapping their prescribed pain medications for other substances on Dec. 29, 2018.
Boll told authorities she had been acquiring pain medications through fraud from hospitals and other facilities where she worked since October 2016. Her nursing license allowed her the opportunity to commit her crimes, Boll admitted.
The plea shows Boll also worked at the Regional Medical Center in Manchester, where she was fired for a variety of issues, including inaccurate and inappropriate narcotic documentation.
Boll regularly signed out medication, claiming to give it to patients but instead took if for her own use. She also would steal narcotic, injectable, pain medication that was supposed to be discarded but she would “squirt” it into her mouth instead of getting a witness — another nurse — to watch her dispose of it, as required.
A forfeiture is included in the plea agreement, which means Boll’s nursing license is forfeited.
Sentencing has not yet been set. She faces up to 14 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and three years of supervised release following any prison time.
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