Medford Drug Diversion: Nurse Pleads Not Guilty Of 44 Counts, Bail Set At $4,4M

MEDFORD Ore. — Former nurse, 36-year-old Dani Marie Schofield, pleaded not guilty in the Jackson County Circuit Court today to a grand jury indictment of 44 counts of felony assault allegedly committed at Medford’s Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (RRMC).

The plea follows her indictment & arrest in the Asante drug diversion investigation. Schofield was not allocated a court-appointed lawyer.


Medford Nurse Pleads Not Guilty To 44 Counts Of Felony Assault

Following a seven-month Medford Police Department (MPD) drug diversion case investigation, Schofield was arrested and arraigned yesterday. arising from reports laid by Asante of possible diversion of drugs intended for its patients. A 44-count criminal indictment for second-degree assault of each victim was issued by the grand jury this week for 44 patients’ injuries.

While delivering her plea to the Jackson County Circuit Court,  Schofield also asked for a court-appointed lawyer. Based on her assets- listed as a Medford home, an Acura, and $20,000 cash, with a total value of about $380,000, her request was recommended for denial by the Court Clerk.

To be eligible for a court-appointed attorney, the person must be unable to get their own lawyer without it causing substantial hardship in providing basic economic necessities to them or their dependent family.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Laura Cromwell indicated that Schofield didn’t qualify for a court-appointed lawyer and had no defense lawyer present. Despite a pretrial officer’s recommendation to lower bail to $1 million, the judge set Schofield’s bail at $4 million.

Schofield’s 44 assault counts fall under Oregon Measure 11 (ORS 137.700). Measure 11 sets the minimum mandatory jail sentences for serious crimes, with a second-degree assault minimum sentence of 70 months incarceration.

MPD says Schofield diverted liquid fentanyl pain medication from 44 Asante patients and kept it for personal intentions The drug was replaced with tap water which caused those patients’ infections.  According to  Justin Ivens, Medford Police Chief, 16 of those patients died, but investigators couldn’t prove that those deaths were caused directly by the water-based infections.

See also: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Nurse May Be Responsible For Deaths Allegedly Linked to Fentanyl Replaced By Tap Water


Civil Suit May Follow Medford Drug Diversion Criminal Case

In the first case filed against Schofield, a civil lawsuit filed by Idiart Law Firm of Central Point in February, the claimants say Asante and Schofield are both responsible for the February 2022 injury and wrongful death of then 65-year-old Horace Wilson of Jacksonville.

The lawsuit claims that within 30 days of admission to the hospital for a fall, fentanyl intended for Wilson’s treatment was diverted and replaced with tap water, causing infection that led to his death. Schofield generally denied the claims but confirmed she worked for Asante, that Wilson was a patient, and that she may have cared for him.

By agreement with the Oregon State Board of Nursing last November, Schofield stopped practicing nursing during the investigation. She admits in the lawsuit that she ” voluntarily agreed to refrain from practice or to suspend her nursing license pending completion of an investigation.”

Tom Gessel, Asante’s President and CEO, sent an internal memo to Asante staff in which he noted police would arrest a single suspect in a matter involving theft of fentanyl. This seems to imply theft charges may follow.

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