Defendant sentenced to probation for overmedicating nursing home resident

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A woman has been sentenced to a year of probation for purposely overmedicating a resident of a Lansing nursing facility, according to a prosecution official.

Jennifer Lynn Reavis, 37, Atchison, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for misdemeanor charges of endangerment, unlawful administration of a controlled substance and battery, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

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 Thompson.

Reavis reportedly 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.

The resident, who suffers from dementia, began vomiting and became lethargic after receiving the medication. The person was taken to the hospital, 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 the resident had been “exit-seeking,” a term used to describe people who try to leave the facility.

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

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

The terms of the plea agreement included a recommendation for suspending jail time and placing Reavis on probation.

"This plea was only accepted with the permission of the victim’s family," Thompson said in a news release. "We are grateful the defendant accepted responsibility for her actions, but this is still a scary incident for anyone to hear about knowing of a loved one in a residential facility."

According to Thompson, Reavis could face up to two years in jail if her probation were to be revoked.