Day in Court: Kristen Diane Parker Sentenced to 30 Years

February 28 2010, 12:17 PM

Kristen Diane Parker, a disgraced former surgical technician who worked at Rose Medical Center and Audubon Ambulatory Surgical Center in Colorado Springs, was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday, just weeks after a federal judge rejected an earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors that would have allowed her to serve 20 years. The sentence, handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn, was longer than recommended guidelines because hepatitis-C-infected Parker stole syringes with the pain killer fentanyl, replacing them with used syringes she filled with saline solution, impacting numerous victims (via the Denver Business Journal). The husband of an infected victim, identified only as B.K., told the court Parker's crimes "have turned our fairy tale life into a living nightmare" (via 9News). Other victims expressed similar sentiments; some also blamed Rose for lax drug security. Parker, in tears, admitted before she was sentenced that she "was a drug addict," notes The New York Times. "I put getting my next fix above my career, my family, taking care of my son, and the safety and well-being of my patients. I have hurt an uncountable number of people."