For Immediate Release
September 18, 2008
Assistant Attorney General Philip B. Bradley
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte announces that Melissa Dunham, age 32, of Hooksett, New Hampshire was convicted of taking narcotic medications from a resident in the nursing home where she worked. Dunham, a licensed nursing assistant, pleaded guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court to the crime of patient abuse for removing a fentanyl patch from an 86 year-old resident of Courville at Manchester and keeping it for her own use. Fentanyl, a narcotic that is more powerful than morphine, is used to treat severe and persistent pain.
Dunham was ordered to serve forty-five days in jail with the balance of twelve months suspended, plus two years of probation. Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said, "Protecting the elderly and the vulnerable is a priority for my Office. We actively work with health care providers to prevent this sort of abuse and we vigorously prosecute it when it does occur."
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