April 18, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Caretaker jailed for stealing meds from woman with cancer

MEDINA — A 24-year-old Sterling woman will spend six months in the Medina County Jail and five years on probation for stealing pain medication from an elderly woman with cancer.

Chelsea R. Cottingham was convicted of four counts of drug theft, fourth-degree felonies punishable by up to 1½ years in prison.

Cottingham was accused of taking the drugs from a client of Wadsworth-based Heart to Heart Home Health Care, where she worked as a care provider.

At her sentencing hearing Tuesday, she apologized for her actions.

“I’m sorry for my mistake,” she said.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier told Cottingham what she did wasn’t a mistake.

“You absolutely meant to steal those drugs,” he said.

Cottingham said she stole them because she had a drug problem and asked Collier to help her get drug treatment.

“I don’t think that’s right for you,” Collier said. “I think you’re a phony, I think you’re a manipulator and I think you’re going to violate probation.”

Cottingham told the judge she was at a loss for words.

“I don’t know what I can say to you to make it better,” she said through tears.

“I don’t think you can, to be honest,” Collier said. “This is about as bad as it gets.”

In addition to jail time, he banned Cottingham from working for any company that cares for people or animals during her probation.

If she violates probation, Collier warned he would send Cottingham to prison for the maximum six years.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

  • quo vadis

    Collier is a hypocrite: Sentencing people to any kind of “community control”…Getting drunk at the Galaxy, snorting coke in the bathroom…Upstanding citizen.

  • Heart to Heart Home Care

    Heart to Heart Home Health Care cooperated fully with the Drug Enforcement Task Force in this matter and does not tolerate any illegal activities by employees. Heart to Heart’s policy is to see that any employee who commits a crime is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • quo vadis

    Dear Heart to Heart: Nice “Cover your a*s” disclaimer. Nursing homes are absolutely the most felonious “care” agencies out there, abusing the helpless for egregious monetary gain. You bleed the “inmate” until all their money is gone, you provide low-grade “care” using the very cheapest materials, food, and in this case, low-buck employees who probably do not have the proper credentials to do the work they are assigned, but they work for peanuts, and you love the bottom line. After all the money peters out, and you can’t squeeze another dime out of the family, you neglect the patient until they die off. You, and other so-called “Nursing Homes/Elder Care” and for-profit hospices should be EXTREMELY REGULATED to prevent your atrocities, and the penalties for your malpractice/malfeasance should be equivalent to the same received by a assault & battery criminal.

  • macy wilson

    Collier states that she will most definitely be a probation violator…Humm, that’s funny….He is letting all violators off the hook lately…It’s better to let them go, than to have them return in your court…Well, I hope he reads the death notices and will see many that has passed away on his dime….A 5 time probation violator with trafficking on her record recently went before him and had a dirty urine..Opiates and pot…He let her off her 2yrs probation that wasn’t served and only placed her in county jail for 20days….She got out 11 days earlier…I pray this addict don’t die on this bad heroin going around…What was this man thinking???? A girl before her had violated her probation 7 times and came up dirty also…She was told by him several times “your so going to jail” humiliating her and making her cry…She even sold marijuana in a school parking lot with kids in her car….Guess what, her tears got to him…He let her go….This is so sad…Bless all the lost addicts today~~

  • Tiredofthesystem

    Collier is a bi-Polar judge at best – certainly a hypocrite! Time to throw him out & make him find a job he’s more suited for…….fast food or pizza delivery maybe!
    The girl admitted to having a problem & asked for help, then this sorry excuse for a public servant tells her she’s a phony? REALLY? So much for rehabilitating criminals. What a jerk!