By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police say a nurse accused of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and getting into a crash took the prescription painkillers from a patient at Fairview Ridges Hospital.

Jessica Rae Baird, 34, of Shakopee, has been charged with a fifth-degree controlled substance crime, theft of a controlled substance and criminal vehicular operation.

On July 11, 2010, Baird was in a car accident on Highway 13 and Nicollet Avenue South in Burnsville. When police arrived, they tried to get Baird to go to the hospital but say she refused medical attention. Police say she was having difficulty answering questions and making decisions.

The driver, Mark Hyde, said he remembers sitting at the stop light on Nicollet, waiting to turn onto Highway 13, when Baird came around a corner, lost control and slammed into him on the driver’s side. He injured his arm and hurt his back.

“It was a terrifying thing,” Hyde said. “I turned over. I saw her coming, and said, ‘There’s nothing I can do, I’m going to get hit.'”

Officers found prescription medication — a schedule II narcotic hydrocodone — in Baird’s possession that was prescribed to someone else. Police learned Baird was a nurse at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville and had stolen the prescription from her patient.

After contacting the patient, Elizabeth Caron, she said the nurse told her she couldn’t have the prescription because she was being re-admitted.

“So she says, ‘I need to take your Vicodin,’ because she had just given it to me. ‘I need to take it, because you can’t have it in the hospital while you’re staying here. All right. I’m going to lock it up, and you’ll get it back when you’re done,'” said Caron, regarding the conversation last July with Baird while in the hospital.

Caron said she wasn’t sure what happened to her prescription after that.

“I went home after the procedure, and laying there in pain for two days,” Caron explained. “She caused me to be in pain.”

Baird lost her job at Fairview Ridges Hospital. A hospital representative says management has no evidence she stole drugs from any other patients.

Even with her firing, Baird’s license is still active and does not expire for another two years.

Caron doesn’t like that fact.

“She should never be allowed to practice any type of healthcare again at all,” she said. “Your patients are supposed to trust you and trust you’re looking out for their best interest, and she wasn’t doing that for me and hurt somebody else in the process as well.”

Fairview Health Systems released the following statement regarding Baird:

The behavior alleged by authorities in this matter is unacceptable and does not represent the care our patients expect and deserve. When we learned of this incident, we reached out to the affected patient.

We also notified the State Board of Nursing and are providing full cooperation with law enforcement in this matter.
After a thorough internal review, Baird’s employment was terminated. We have no evidence this nurse engaged in similar behavior prior to this alleged incident.

Fairview has strict policies and procedures to prevent theft and misuse of medications; we will continue to look for ways to revise these processes to make them more effective.

Comments (52)
  1. Earl says:

    There are about a million nurses in this state. A few bad apples should not ruin it for the rest of us.

  2. Stranger Danger says:

    if nurses were not so over staffed and under paid she probably could have afforded her own drugs!

    1. sue says:

      under paid? they make about 70 grand a year (give or take)…rn’s that is

      1. Jeff - Wayzata says:

        My daughter is closer to $44K and some benefits. They do their dang best to keep you off the FT payroll with full benefits.
        20 nurses = a surgeon. Maybe

    2. chucky says:

      Nice try. I’ve been in healthcare 20 years and have seen more than enuf lazy, OVER PAID nurses. I blame the Unions.

  3. Jon says:

    The people who do this should be charged with attempted murder or manslaughter.

    1. Pam says:

      Too bad the story isn’t complete, first of all it doesn’t even mention she had a seizure and that is why she lost control of the car, not the vicodin. Secondly, no hospital lets you keep your prescription, and many don’t give them back, we left with none of my sons prescriptions he had when we came in. Third she had already been through rehab and attends meetings every week. Do you think she is not paying for her mistake, you shouldn’t talk unless you are walking in their shoes. How clean is your life???? She does have a family, and the reporters are outside her house harassing her now!

      1. johnny says:

        Thank You Pam!!!

      2. pawn says:

        yes pam you are soooo right , she did a mistake that she is paying right now and now the reporters and all this ppl who comment this are against her omg everyone makes a mistake and if she stole it now she will pay for it but that doesnt mean ppl can just insult her or harass her anyways why this ppl are talking about how much nurses make a year does that even matter now ??
        i just hope they make right justice and not juist hear all those stupid comments that they dont need to hear ….

      3. Nicole says:

        I agree… I know Jess really good and used to work with her. She has one of the most caring heart and patients just loved her. She is being harassed with all this and you people that keep bringing her down anymore, this is awful….if you think i KNOW you could come up with someone close to you that has made a mistake and if you had people talk about them like some of you are how do you think it would feel. She has done so many things to get her life back on track, its to bad the media forgot to add that in..Guess they do anything to get the watchers talking.

      4. ______________________ says:

        are you forgeting she stole pain killers and and took them and thats probably why she had the seizure

  4. Victim Du Jour says:

    She has a good Job, it’s too bad she let chemical problems get in her way.

    My dad used to take that for sleeping, and it’s a powerful drug.

  5. Ah, Nobody Got Hurt says:

    Hydrocodone is generic Vicodin, but she’s kind of cute so I say let her go with just a warning…

  6. jc's a luvin' it says:

    She could pass for a relative of Lindsay Lohan at a distance.
    Kinda sultry and smoking hot in a way. She gets a woman judge she’d best dress way down or she’ll be locked up for a long time. lol

  7. Lip smacking good says:

    never had a nurse that looks this loveable when I been inside the confines of a hospital.
    Nice looking and hope she gets on with her life and in a better way when this is all done.

  8. Tom digs her says:

    never had a nurse that looks this loveable when I been inside the confines of a hospital.
    Nice looking and hope she gets on with her life and in a better way when this is all done.

  9. Tad G says:

    This goes back to July —- she just getting charged now? For real?

    1. jc's says enough already says:

      I missed that – so why is this here now ?
      Someone in DA’s office in need of getting camera time ?
      She messed up – 8 months ago. Let her be now as she’s already damaged goods and unemployed.

  10. Dan says:

    Addiction is a deadly diease. I hope and Pray that Jessica chooses to seek the help she needs to recover.

  11. Johnny says:

    I feel for her, I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict myself and I know that This wonderful woman took this VERY seriously and is going in the right direction. Hang in There, U R In my prayers Jessica, and I’m here for ya 24/7!!!

    1. vanessa says:

      oh my goodness. ridiculous

      1. vanessa says:

        i wouldn’t call that a brain.

        1. Victim Du Jour says:

          More like that Billy Bob Thorton and Halle Berry Scene in the film “Monster’s Ball”

          1. Pam says:

            hello ~he is probably in her rehab program!! Dah

            1. Victim Du Jour says:

              The 13th step

            2. johnny says:

              Hey Victim Du Jour, ONLY a DBAG like yourself would think or do something like that! This woman is a friend of mine and I don’t appreciate comments coming from an obviously SICK guy like you. Why did you even comment? Don’t you have anything better to do than kick people while they’re down and the FRIENDS that support them? LOSER!

            3. Victim Du Jour says:

              Sorry if I made you feel corny. My bad!

      2. Troy says:

        Jessica has a neurological history of seizures. ( 3 while driving) I think she has been testing for the DMV for the past 15 years. The CT scan administered at the hospital confirmed she had that type of activity recently. This is unjust behavior by WCCO, they should be liable. Keep your head up Jessica

        1. _________________ says:

          she shouldnt be driving if shes having seizures and she should have made that choise

    2. Always been clean & sober says:

      I agree with VDJ, Sounds like your gunnin to be more than friends there Johnny.
      The lady has enough problem, probably not a good idea to be hanging out with a “recovering” addict if she’s seriously trying to change her life for the better.

      1. johnny says:

        Obviously you can’t read either! I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict who knew her previously and she remains my FRIEND. Can’t recovering ppl have friends. Maybe I’m asking the wrong person…You probably DON’T have any of your own, that’s why you’re putting others down…LOSER!

  12. vanessa says:

    jess you are a strong woman and the people that love you know that you’re a good person and are heading in the right direction. you are also in my prayers. call or text if you need anything lady. i miss you.

    1. johnny says:

      Right On Vanessa!

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        I’ll stick too playing along and kissing up to Drug and alcohol free European flight attends, who make bland vegetarian chili – thanks.

        They don’t usually have to worry about BAC testing and missing prescription drugs.

        1. Troy says:

          You don’t sound very intelligent Victim Du Jour. The testing is done by a licensed neurologist, not cup of urine, but you should stick to those male flight attendents

          1. Victim Du Jour says:

            Well, if she doesn’t have missing prescription drugs in her blood you are home free.

            You can go back to throwing gang symbols for Facebook photos and I can go to Europe with Sven and Olga

            1. pam says:

              Why don’t you leave now!!

              1. Victim Du Juror says:

                He tried but couldn’t find the door out. 😉

    2. yesssir - and she is sweaty hot says:

      me too… my number is the one tatooed on your left cheek.

  13. vanessa says:

    you are a terrible person for saying this. did you ever stop to think that maybe she has a family?

    1. johnny says:

      I’ve reported this comment and I hope they delete it! Doug, maybe you and your boyfriend Victim Du Jour should just remember that you DONT know the whole story and this comment of yours proves what a complete LOSER YOU ARE!!!

  14. Who cares anymore says:

    This story is so old!! Why is it just making the news? Get some new s$&@ WCCO!!

  15. johnny says:

    I see a lot of Refractions and apologies owed to Jessica when the smoke clears.

  16. Who cares anymore says:

    There is a reason she didn’t lose her license. If that reason is good enough for the Board, then who the hell are we to say differently. Let sleeping dogs lie (or is it lay??) already! You get my point.

  17. GOP hoe down says:

    I still thin’ she’s hot and my offer to take her in as punishment is on the table.

  18. johnny says:

    I don’t need to defend myself to a bunch of IDIOTS for supporting my FRIEND!! End of Story!

    1. Lindsay Lohan Nurse says:

      ” I heard that you were feeling ill. Headache, fever, and a chill. I came to help restore your pluck, cause I’m the nurse who likes to…”

  19. Suzy Q says:

    First of all NO ONE has walked a mile in her shoes! Second, what the hell does her looks have to do with this story? Third, I am also a nurse, and I can say that the starting pay for a RN is in the mid 40’s and we have to work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. Also, most people aren’t the nicest when they are in pain. This is from last July! Why it is now comming out as a story seems a bit odd. Sometime you should think before you open your mouth.

    1. Victim Du Jour says:

      I always admire RN’s because it seems like a lot of hard work, school and training.

      There was a time in this country when you didn’t have to be perfect. You could always start over somewhere else. Now with the Internet, it’s not that forgiving.

      And I am sure if this Nurse was unattractive, she wouldn’t be getting the benefit of the doubt.

      Hopefully she finds the benefits of sobriety and keeps and values her youthfulness.

  20. Mark Baird says:

    what jessica did was wrong. know one needs to tell her this. this has changed her life as she has finally realized that she must accept the pain in her past and deal with it if she is to move forward in her life. this will make her a better person, a better nurse when she puts this behind her.. why? no one can know what to do with the pain of others until we know what to do with our own pain.

  21. Mark Baird says:

    Those of you reading this message thread need to understand that there are those leaving comments that have a cynical view of the world and like to focus on those things that confirm their view of the world. People make mistakes, They pay the price, They begin to turn their life around and they move on. They are stronger for it. I have met many people in fifty two years and I will take those that have felt deep pain in their lives then the cynical people of the world. Humility, empathy, compassion and forgiveness require the greatest strength because it requires that we give of ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE