Maplesville woman pleads not guilty to elder abuse charge

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Maplesville woman who faces charges for abuse and neglect of a resident at Hatley Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Clanton pleaded not guilty.

Katherine Blevins Lenoir, 53, a former employee of a Chilton County nursing home faces charges for abuse and/or neglect of a female resident of the facility.

Lenoir was scheduled to appear before Chilton County Circuit Judge Ben A. Fuller on Thursday for her arraignment, but a written plea of not guilty was filed through her defense attorney on Sept. 1, according to court records.

Lenoir faces one count of elder abuse in the first degree, according to her indictment.

Lenoir is a former employee of Hatley Healthcare and Rehabilitation.

Allegedly, Lenoir, who is a licensed practical nurse, inadvertently administered a large dose of a narcotic pain medication to a patient instead of the requested cough medicine.

Instead of alerting the facility of her mistake, Lenoir manipulated treatment records to reflect that she had given the correct medication, according to a release from Attorney General Luther Strange.

The patient, suffering from an overdose of the narcotic pain medication, was discovered by a nurse on a later shift and rushed to the hospital, where she spent several days in the intensive care unit before being released.

Had Lenoir reported her mistake immediately, the patient would not have suffered the prolonged effects of the narcotic, according to the release.

However, due to her intentional neglect, the patient almost died, the release said.

Elder abuse and neglect in the first degree provides that any person who intentionally abuses or neglects any elderly person is guilty of a Class A felony if the intentional abuse or neglect causes serious physical injury. One of the legal definitions of “serious physical injury” is a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death, according to the release.

A Class A felony carries a possible sentence of 10 years to life in the Alabama Department of Corrections.

A plea date has not been set for Lenoir, according to court records.

At the plea hearing, Lenoir will have the option to inform the court whether the case will go to trial or whether she will enter a plea of guilty.