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Nurse gets 30 days in jail for possession of boy's meds

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Little Blake Leritz sat quietly through the lengthy court proceedings Monday, occasionally swinging his legs in his wheelchair.

The severely disabled boy was drooping by the time his case was called. He couldn't comprehend the anger his grandmother felt as she was denied the right to speak up in court.

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Blake's former nurse was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years probation for possessing his seizure medication.

Pills keep Blake alive. When his grandmother noticed they were disappearing too quickly last summer, she set up her own web cam spy operation.

Caught on tape was Celeste Ann Kruft, 32, formerly of Menahga, pocketing the 4½-year old's pills.

"I think it's B.S.," said Blake's grandmother Brenda Sordahl. In a plea agreement, a theft charge against Kruft was dismissed.

She instead pled guilty to Fifth Degree Drug Possession, a felony that could cost her her nursing license. It is, on paper, a "victimless" crime that doesn't require a victim impact statement.

Kruft's nursing license is currently under suspension. She has moved to South Dakota with her children.

Sordahl maintains as one of the most vulnerable of victims, Blake was denied his day in court. He cannot speak so she wanted to speak for him.

The little boy sat in his wheelchair in his jeans and a plaid shirt. His legs are encased in tiny plastic orthopedic boots stabilizing his feet, ankles and legs.

They have a "Cars" motif on them, Lightning McQueen racing up his instep.

Kruft declined twice to say anything in court.

Blake was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, an affliction of people born without their fourth chromosome, or only part of it.

Like other patients with his rare disorder, he was born with a cleft palate, water on his brain, a swallowing dysfunction, epilepsy and delayed development.

That delayed growth began in the womb.

He must feed through a tube, a high fat diet to keep him nourished.

His little muscles are not developed, but he's working on them. He's been hospitalized numerous times and needs constant care, which is why Sordahl and her husband hire nursing staff to tend to Blake's constant needs.

Sordahl left the courtroom disappointed, but said her grandson is improving.

Kruft began serving her jail term Tuesday in the Hubbard County jail.

She must undergo a new chemical dependency assessment, must refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs and must submit to random drug testing during her probationary period.

Sordahl wanted to make sure no more patients are victimized. But she left court unsure if the judge understands her concerns.

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Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364
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