A woman who authorities say stole a powerful painkiller that was later used in the overdose death of a neighbor is in custody, according to local sources. Illinois police arrested the woman for an alleged drug crime involving the theft of a portion of morphine from a medical clinic. Police believe the morphine was used in the drug-induced homicide that killed a 34-year-old man.
According to reports, the 40-year-old woman, an employee at a local cancer center, is believed to have stolen liquid and caplet versions of the opiate morphine. The doses in question had originally been prescribed to a patient of the center. The drugs were returned to the center when that patient passed away, where it is alleged the woman stole them from the premises.
On May 24 of last year, police believe the woman administered the drugs to her neighbor, a 34-year-old man. He was found on May 26, dead in his home of an apparent drug overdose. It is alleged the woman confessed to her employers to stealing the drugs and giving them to the neighbor two days later, on May 28. She is being held on $250,000 bond and is charged with drug-induced homicide and theft over $500.
The layman might see an alleged confession as damning evidence in a drug crime trial, but the fact is that any confession given outside of very specific conditions may not be considered admissible before an Illinois court. Prosecutors may have to prove independently that the woman stole the drugs and gave them to her neighbor. They may also have to prove that the drugs she purportedly gave her neighbor were the drugs that he ingested and that caused an overdose resulting in his death. The defense team will likely carefully examine each piece of evidence that the prosecution intends to sue to prove its case in court.
Source: Chicago Tribune, Authorities: Woman charged with stealing morphine that killed neighbor, Adam Sege and Kate Thayer, Jan. 11, 2014