No. 476 April Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division, on January 12, 1977 at No. CC7605546.
Stephen P. Swem and Lester G. Nauhaus, Assistant Public Defenders, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Robert L. Eberhardt, Assistant District Attorney, and Robert E. Colville, District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Price, J., dissents and would affirm on the opinion of the lower court in which Van der Voort, J., joins. Watkins, former President Judge, did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 255 Pa. Super. Page 98]
Following the filing of a criminal complaint, appellant was arrested on July 9, 1976, and charged with one count of acquisition or obtaining possession of a controlled substance
[ 255 Pa. Super. Page 99]
by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge*fn1 and one count of tampering with public records.*fn2 On October 16, 1976, appellant was found guilty on both counts in a non-jury trial. Post-verdict motions were filed and denied. Appellant received a suspended sentence and was released on probation for one year. The only question on appeal is whether the evidence at trial was sufficient to convict her on either count.
The lengthy facts pertinent to this appeal involve an incident on June 17, 1976, when the appellant was assigned to the Intensive Care Unit at Pittsburgh Hospital through a medical personnel pool (an agency supplying temporary nursing personnel to hospitals and nursing homes). Appellant was responsible for the care of three patients: Jenny Sylvester, a patient of Dr. Friday in Room 2; Ronald Garret, a patient of Dr. Samadami in Room 1; and another patient.
Ms. Barbara Leon, the Commonwealth's main witness, was the registered nurse in charge of the ICU that day. Ms. Leon checked the narcotics supply at 3:00 p. m. -- the end of a shift -- and discovered 500 m. g. of demoral missing, and not accounted for.
Jenny Sylvester's medication card authorized that she be given 25 m. g. of demoral mixed with 25 m. g. of vistaril every 3 to 4 hours as needed. The narcotics' record showed 50 m. g. of demoral administered at 8:00 a. m., 11:30 a. m., and 4:20 p. m. on June 17. There is testimony that it is common hospital practice that if a patient is to receive 25 m. g. of demoral, a 50 m. g. syringe must be used because it is the smallest dosage available, and 25 m. g. from the syringe is destroyed by shooting it down the sink. However, the patient is charged for the 50 m. g. amount on the narcotic's record.
Commonwealth's exhibits number 3 and 4 were narcotics' records. Number 4 specifically ...