Man sentenced after stealing pain meds from dying woman - WSMV News 4

Man sentenced after stealing pain meds from dying woman

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A Nashville man will spend years in prison for stealing pain medicine from a dying woman, and in a tearful statement Friday in court, he apologized to the woman's family.

For the judge, though, Justin Perryman's words were too little, too late.

In announcing his sentence, the judge called what Perryman admits he did to Edna Duffy something that "shocks the conscience."

"I would literally do anything I had to know, to know that Ms. Duffy would accept my sincere apology," Perryman said. "I feel I need to, once again, apologize to my family."

Last year, Perryman posed as a volunteer at an Alive Hospice unit inside Saint Thomas Hospital. He then stole an IV bag full of a pain medicine called Dilaudid from Duffy.

The woman's granddaughter, Erin Duffy, said she discovered Perryman in the act.

"He said he had to go, and he got up and he started to leave the room and then, that's when I noticed he was stuffing something in his pocket. And it was the plastic medicine bag, and there was liquid dripping down his pants," Erin Duffy said.

Police did not catch Perryman that night, but they later arrested him at his home.

"My son has regrettably made some poor choices, which breaks my heart," said his mother, Karen Perryman.

Karen Perryman took the stand Friday to share the blame.

"Regrettably, I have made the mistake that a lot of parents make. And I was stupid. Not educated. I didn't know the signs," she said.

Justin Perryman's attorney wanted the sentence to include intensive drug treatment instead of prison, but the judge decided the punishment needed to better fit the crime and the man's bigger problem.

And for that, Justin Perryman will serve eight years in prison.

The man's wife, Alice Perryman, previously worked at a different Alive Hospice office. She resigned after allegedly refusing to take a drug test when medication discrepancies surfaced.

The two also wound up in trouble when police arrested the pair on suspicions of DUI on Christmas Eve 2012.

After the medicine theft, Alive Hospice changed its security practices to better keep tabs on who comes in and out.

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