LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A 40-year-old Corrigan man accepted a plea bargain deal of five years of probation for getting a friend to sign for his mother's prescription pain medication, so he could steal it. He also cleaned out his mother's bank account.
According to a spokesperson for the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Steve Edward Knight pleaded guilty to a felony exploitation of the elderly charge. When Knight was arrested back in February, he was also charged with forgery of a financial institution.
"This case is yet another example of the problems associated with the abuse of prescription drugs," said Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon. 'This defendant, who had no prior felony history, will now have a felony conviction on his record for the rest of his life. In respecting the wishes of the victim in this case, the judge felt that Mr. Knight should be given an opportunity to succeed in a substance abuse rehabilitation program."
Hon said if Knight commits another crime or tests positive for drugs in the future, he will be facing up to seven years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison.
On Feb. 16, two Corrigan PD officers were called out to the 100 block of James Street in regard to a welfare concern. When they got there, a registered nurse with Kindred Hospice out of Livingston met them outside and told them that she has been taking care of Knight's 77-year-old mother.
The nurse told the two CPD officers that her patient had complained to her several times about Knight's drug use, fraud, and forgery, Gibson said. Knight's mother told her caregiver that she had not been given her medicine for three days. Knight's mother also allegedly told the caregiver than she was hungry and had not been fed.
When the nurse looked through the woman's medication, she saw that three prescription drugs - hydrocodone, Xanax, and morphine - missing. The Corrigan PD officers investigated further and found that Jamie Brown, a Lufkin resident, signed for the prescription medications on Feb. 9 at Brookshire Brothers and gave them to Knight, Gibson said.
Brown was indicted on a felony exploitation of the elderly charge at the same time a Polk County grand jury indicted Knight on the same charge back in April.
A court hearing for Brown has been scheduled for May 23.