The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

December 4, 2013

Ex-nurse gets probation for drug thefts

By Melissa Klaric
Herald staff

SHARON — Mark J. Darby, 27, of Hermitage, pleaded guilty Sept. 16 to acquiring prescription medication by fraud from Sharon Regional Health System.

“I’m an alcoholic,” Darby said. “It’s insanity. I can’t really explain it.”

In addition to the 18 months’ state probation he will serve, Darby was also slapped with a 10-year suspension of his nursing license and forbidden from ever dispensing medication to others.

Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said the sentence agreed to by his office was “pretty generous on our part.”

Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Thomas R. Dobson said he decided to sentence Darby only to probation because of the “tremendous letters” sent in by family in support of him.

“I’ve been clean and sober for one year,” Darby told the judge.

He said he plans on going back to school to learn another vocation.

“You’ve lost a lot because of this,” Judge Thomas R. Dobson, said.

Darby admitted stealing Xanax pills from the hospital in October and November 2012. He said he signed out the medication to make the records look like the medication was going to patients.

Thirteen counts of acquiring or possession of a controlled substance were withdrawn as part of his plea deal.