Woman pleads to overmedicating nursing home resident

John Richmeier/Leavenworth Times

A woman has pleaded no contest to purposely overmedicating a resident of a Lansing nursing facility, according to a prosecution official.

Jennifer Lynn Reavis, 37, Atchison, pleaded no contest Friday to misdemeanor charges of endangerment, unlawful administration of a controlled substance and battery.

Reavis was charged following an investigation by the Lansing Police Department in 2019. The police were contacted by administrators at Twin Oaks Health and Rehab Center who reported a nurse identified as Reavis had given a resident of the facility evening and bedtime medications at the same time.

The nurse also had given the resident Ativan and Benadryl, which were not part of the resident's schedule of medications. These drugs can cause drowsiness, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

Reavis reportedly had sent a text message to an incoming night staff nurse that included a photograph of the resident slumped over in a wheelchair. The person appeared to be asleep. The image was accompanied by the message, “Your welcome! I hope she is asleep most of the day tomorrow.” A second text message containing the same photo included the words, "Hint hint," according to Thompson.

Reavis was interviewed by police, and she reportedly admitted to giving the nursing facility resident the medication and sending the messages.

Reavis reportedly indicated to police that the resident had been “exit-seeking,” a term used to describe people who try to leave the facility.

The resident, who suffers from severe dementia, began vomiting and became lethargic after receiving the medication. The person was taken to the hospital, according to Thompson.

Court records indicate Reavis previously faced a felony charge of mistreatment of a dependent adult in the case.

She pleaded to amended charges Friday as she entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution.

As part of the plea agreement, there will be a recommendation for suspending jail time and placing Reavis on probation for 12 months, according to court records.

No date has been set for sentencing. The judge who typically handles criminal cases for Leavenworth County recused himself from Reavis' case. The sentencing will be placed on another judge's docket.

Reavis is free on bond as she awaits sentencing, according to Thompson.

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