Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Caregiver mistreatment conviction

Medford, Oregon - According to the Mail Tribune, 30-year-old John Hopkins was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Friday for stealing medications from his girlfriend, who is physically and intellectually disabled, and denying her relief from pain. As stated in the report, the 34-year-old woman and Hopkins were in a relationship for 10 years, and he was her caregiver. According to Deputy District Attorney Michelle Pauly:

Instead of caring for his girlfriend, Hopkins stole her medications and denied her relief from pain — even after the victim had surgery on both feet last November, Pauly said.

"He told police he was taking half of her muscle relaxers and up to 12 Vicodin a day," Pauly said.

Hopkins attended the victim's medical appointments so that she could not speak freely about her concerns. When her doctor finally refused to write any more prescriptions, the woman called a local disability advocacy group.

When the advocates began investigating the victim's case, Hopkins' crimes came to light, Pauly said.

The victim testified at trial that "on a scale from 1 to 10, her pain was a level 9," said Pauly.

John Hopkins has been convicted of first-degree criminal mistreatment and given the maximum available sentence for his crimes by Judge Ron Grensky, who has ordered that he not be not eligible for early releasee.