Nurse Who Skipped Sentencing Jailed
WILKES-BARRE — A registered nurse who skipped her sentencing on a manslaughter charge Wednesday is now behind bars.
Kelly E. Levandowski, 40, of Nanticoke, pleaded guilty in September to involuntary manslaughter over a patient’s death and was set to be sentenced Wednesday morning. But Levandowski — who was free on unsecured bail — failed to appear in court, prompting Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough to issue a bench warrant for her arrest.
As of Thursday morning, Levandowski was listed as being in custody at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Defense attorney John Pike said she was arrested later Wednesday afternoon and is set to appear before Vough today to address the bench warrant. Sentencing will take place at a later date because a prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s Office as well as the victim’s family will need to travel from out of town, he said.
Pike said he had not yet spoken to Levandowski and did not know why she missed her sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors alleged Levandowski “intentionally, knowingly or negligently” failed to provide sufficient care to Melvin Johnson, 72, who died after going into cardiac arrest at the Guardian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at 147 Old Newport St., on June 20, 2013.
The charges said Johnson had a ruptured aneurysm and brain bleeding, and was admitted to Guardian on the day of her death after being removed from a ventilator.
At least four staff members told Levandowski, a shift supervisor, they were concerned about Johnson pulling on a breathing tube, but she remained seated at the nursing station, prosecutors said.
At one point when Johnson pulled out the tube, Levandowski reinserted it but she failed to call 911 as required by facility policy, prosecutors said. About a half-hour later, another nurse found Johnson had pulled out the tube and was unresponsive, according to prosecutors.
The charges alleged that Levandowski then instructed a nurse to fill out a form indicating regular 15-minute checks had been performed on Johnson, even though they had not been, according to prosecutors.
Levandowski’s registered nursing license expired Oct. 31, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
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