Burglar, ex-substitute teacher fined for stealing elderly cancer patient's meds

Defendant says he's "very, very sorry" for stealing morphine patches and Vicodin; judge doesn't impose any jail time.
Cary Ashby
Nov 23, 2012

A drug addict and former substitute teacher was fined $5,000 for taking advantage of an elderly cancer patient's friendship by stealing her morphine patches and Vicodin.

Initially, Roger L. Blair, 57, of 11 N. Kniffin St., Greenwich, denied taking the medications. Village police said the defendant blamed it on an unidentified person in the area who recently had been released from prison before he confessed.

Blair, at his sentencing hearing Wednesday, apologized to the 71-year-old female victim for invading her "personal space" and taking advantage of their friendship. The woman wasn't in the courtroom. Blair also said he was "very, very sorry" for the embarrassment he's caused his family.

The only good thing that came out of this situation, Blair said, was it made him realize he has a drug addiction. However, moments later, he told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway he hasn't been evaluated by a substance abuse counselor and hasn't been looking for a new job.

"(Blair) has been a spectacular resident until this," defense attorney Neil McKown said.

"He fell into an addiction," McKown said. "He is stand-up about his addiction. He admits to his addiction. If it weren't for the addiction, we wouldn't be here."

On Oct. 4, Blair pleaded guilty to burglary. He earlier confessed to the July 8 crime during an interview with Greenwich Police Officer Aaron Smith after the officer showed Blair the surveillance video from a new system, which the victim's daughter installed.

The footage shows Blair walking inside, opening a bottle of pills, dumping some in his hand and leaving the residence, police said.

Blair, in his confession, wrote that he's "in pain about every day of my life" and ran out of his medication.

The victim's daughter contacted Smith via Facebook on May 31. She reported someone had been using a hidden key, walking into her parents' house on a weekly basis and stealing medication, police said.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler recommended the court sentence Blair to four months in the Huron County Jail and a $5,000 fine.

"Violating the private space of a homeowner while they're down is pretty despicable," Leffler said.

While Conway said the prosecutor's recommendation "isn't out of the realm of possibility," he said the victim indicated in a statement she doesn't think imprisonment would help Blair.

McKown, the defense attorney, said he didn't think jail or prison time would be beneficial.

"Roger has punished himself more than enough," McKown said.

Blair was fined $5,000 and must pay $350 in restitution for the security system as part of his three years of basic probation. Conway didn't impose any jail time. If Blair violates the terms of his probation, he faces one year in prison.

Comments

iamrevolutionary

Yep! He's "really, really sorry!". Look honey, no jail time! I wasn't sure that trick would still work on the judge, being it's an old one..... But, hey, who knew? @ @
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Uputwhatwhere7

Very very sorry always works on Conway.

swiss family

what a travesty of Justice.. I can not believe that they use the recommendation and opinion of the victim to determine what his punishment should be.. They did say that the victim was elderly, and sick... so I would imagine that she is not in the best situation to decide what his punishment should be..Did the Judge and Prosecutor even consider the fact that this sick , elderly victim might just be afraid to give the opinion that this guy deserves to be sent away for as long as possible, , because she fears for her life and safety in retaliation from this guys family and friends?? and possibly this guy as well???

I must have missed something in my "civics" class in school.. I was taught that Judges were elected to sit in judgement and abide by the laws to KEEP THEIR COMMUNITY SAFE.... that certainly does NOT seem to be what is and has been happening with this Judge..I was also told that the Prosecutor was elected to represent the "state"(the people)and would work diligently and rightfully to prosecute criminals to the measures of the law, and to work with the Judge by finding and presenting proof of the criminal activity, and the connection to the criminal, so that they can rightfully punish the criminal according to what the law allows....I did get an "A" in the class, but from what I am seeing here . Justice is the last thing that these two "men" want.. in my opinion

Simple Enough II

And his addiction is who's fault? We have a new PC term "invading personal space" vs. burglary he went into the home to steal, not to visit, not to help or aid comfort that makes it burglary.......This Jack Wagon hasn't even come close to hitting rock bottom yet, we will be reading more about him down the road, just hope it doesn't include injury to any innocent party as I would hate to read where Conway would have to give some lame excuse as to why it was out of his control......

brad jones

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

jack langhals

Hey,you can steal cancer meds,but you can't say fag.!

Yall Make Me Sick

He was my old boss at quality care nursing home (old name for nursing home where he use to be the Director over the whole place) I would have never thunk it. Guess I was wrong about this one.

Apparatus

Sure, we can argue about semantics as to whether or not this guy should've gotten off, but I think there are people more deserving of being in prison, like the countless heroin addicts who keep getting picked up and aren't rehabilitating, aren't learning their lesson, and continue to go on not just breaking into homes but harming other people to get their fix. Mr. Blair admitted to a serious problem, wants rehabilitation and probably is legitimately sorry, unlike most of these lowlifes who decide to kiss up for less time.

swiss family

Sorry "apparatus" but I disagree... I think it might just be that you either know this guy, or are familiar with him and possibly even related to him, which clouds your perspective..When someone imagines a "child molester" for example, they picture some scary looking creepy kind of person that only comes out at night and is always hanging around playgrounds. It is pretty rare for them to picture their lawyer, doctor, coach etc as a real child molester, but the reality is that the convicted child molesters are someones brother, uncle, neighbor etc, that is why it is so difficult to catch these guys

I do find it interesting that you do not see him in the same light as the people you describe as "heroin addicts" and "people who break into homes" etc.. maybe you are lucky, or blessed enough to never have seen or experienced someone close to you fighting against cancer. Cancer is Brutal, and harsh, it is sooo painful and destructive that to the people fighting it, they have made some really potent medicines to help in their struggle.They need this medicine...so for anyone to steal it from them, in my opinion makes them a "lowlife" and places him firmly into the category that you have reserved for your definition of what a "lowlife" is.In fact, this kind of guy might be the worst type of "lowlife" at least the other heroin dealers and people breaking into homes might NOT know the situation of the people who's house they are breaking into.. they might fail to realize that the money they just stole was that couples rent or mortgage money which now leaves them on the edge of bankrupcy... whereas this guy Knew the victim, knew of the struggle they had on their hands with cancer, and knew how essential their medication was to them.. and he knew this and still stole it from them... I think he is the poster boy for lowlifes, in my opinion

tipper

this is ridiculous going into elderly persons home and taking their pain medication. what a Jerk. And how could he have been the Administrator of Quality Care Nursing Home, he was a teacher, he did not have the credentials to even be an administrator. He needs to stay away from the Elderly,