Calais: Man charged in giving family member Rx drug

Posted July 31, 2008, at 12 a.m.

CALAIS, Maine&nbsp -A 60-year-old Eastport man appeared Wednesday in 4th District Court on charges he endangered the welfare of a family member when he gave her drugs that had not been prescribed for her.

Ken Marsh, who appeared through video conferencing from the Washington County Jail, was charged with endangering the welfare of a dependent person.

Judge John Romei set Marsh’ s bail at $1,500 unsecured and ordered Marsh not to have contact with the family member unless supervised by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2007, Marsh was named guardian and conservator for the family member after she was unable to care for herself.

On Sunday, Chief Matt Vinson of the Eastport Police Department was called to the Marsh residence after receiving a report that there was a health issue with a family member, according to an affidavit on file with the 4th District Court which did not elaborate on the issue.

The next day the family member was taken by ambulance to Calais Regional Hospital. “[The family member] was moaning and unresponsive to the medical people,” the affidavit said.

Later, police checked with the hospital and learned that the family member was responding to treatment but would remain hospitalized.

Police then questioned the EMS providers who went to the Marsh residence, and they reported that Ken Marsh told them the family member was in the condition she was in because she had run out of Xanax, a tranquilizer, and he had replaced it with his medicine, Fentanyl, a pain medication, the affidavit said.

“When EMS collected [the family member' s] prescription bottles to take to the hospital with her, they noted the Xanax prescription was filled on July 18, and should have contained 20 pills or a supply until Aug. 8,” the affidavit said. “Mr. Marsh told EMS that he gave her two pills before the rest were missing, he assumed someone visiting must have stolen them.”

Police went to the Marsh residence and spoke with Ken Marsh. He admitted he had given his family member Restoral, a sleeping pill, because she had run out of Xanax. He confirmed that he believed the family member’ s Xanax had been stolen by someone else. He told police he thought he knew who took the pills, but refused to identify the person, the affidavit said.

When police asked Marsh if he had spoken with the family member’ s doctor about switching her medication, Marsh said the doctor told him not to give the family member his Restoral.

“He gave her the other medication nonetheless because he explained he had taken pharmacology and felt maybe the doctor didn’ t know his patient very well, but Ken knew prescriptions well,” the affidavit said. “He further explained that [the family member] was yelling and agitated without her medicine and he just wanted her to stop yelling.”

Marsh told police he had called someone at the Eastport Health Center and claimed they knew what he was doing with the medicine. “He also told [police] that he loves his [family member] and if she were in the same state she was in again, he would give her the medicine again,” the affidavit said.

Police talked with medical personnel at the Eastport Health Center who declined to answer any questions or give information about the patient’ s health care.

“[The medical provider] did however say that after speaking with Mr. Marsh on [July] 28th, she called 911 to get an ambulance to the Marsh residence as she was concerned about the [family member' s] health,” the court documents said.

Marsh’ s trial has been scheduled for Aug. 21.

bdncalais@verizon.net

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