SE woman gets stay in felony theft case

For taking client’s pills in assisted living facility

NEW ULM — A 25-year-old rural Sleepy Eye woman received a stay of imposition in Brown County District Court Monday in a felony theft case involving the theft of a client’s medication at an assisted-living facility in April.

Natalie M. Benson, 23810 340th Ave., Sleepy Eye, was convicted of theft. Two fifth-degree drug possession-not small amount of marijuana charges and another theft charge were dismissed. Successful probation completion will result in a misdemeanor conviction.

She was fined $1,160 and placed on 10 years supervised probation monitored by the Department of Corrections Field Services. Conditions include complying with a mental health evaluation, complying with medication management by a physician, and no use or possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives. All firearms must be removed from home within 72 hours of sentencing. She was ordered to do 10 days Sentence to Service.

Springfield Police were called by a person April 22 regarding a theft at an assisted-living facility in which Benson entered a client’s room and took medication from the client’s pill bottles, according to court documents.

Benson initially denied taking the medication, then agreed to empty her pockets. Police patted her down and felt several round objects in her left pant pocket. Benson said the pills were the ones she took from the client. They included five grey pills and three white ones.

The grey pills were stamped OP 15, determined to be Oxycontin, 15 mg. The white pills were stamped A 04, Oxycodone Hydrochloride, 5 mg.