Trial upcoming for Concord Hospital nurse accused of diverting drugs

  • Bridges

  • Kerry Bridges (right) and her attorney, Jim Moir (left), listen as Judge Richard McNamara speaks in Merrimack County Superior Court on Tuesday. NICK REID—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The traveling nurse who was accused of diverting drugs while working at Concord Hospital last year is seeking to limit witness testimony prosecutors can use at her upcoming trial.

Kerry Bridges of Warren, Maine, is charged in 12 felony indictments handed up from a Merrimack County grand jury for unlawfully possessing the drugs morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl.

Last June, a district court judge in Concord determined there was insufficient probable cause for two of three illegal possession charges brought against Bridges at the time.

Since then, the attorney general’s office has obtained 14 indictments, two of which were quickly dropped. 

On Tuesday, Bridges’s attorney, Jim Moir, and assistant attorney general Brooksley Belanger debated over roughly 10 motions, mostly discussing what evidence will be permitted at the trial and how it can be presented.

They agreed, for instance, that a phone interview with a doctor in California, who will serve as a witness, can be admitted. But in two other cases that the state sought to use video interviews, Moir objected.

Moir said if one of the witnesses – a nurse who trained Bridges – were to testify by video, he would lose the opportunity to call her back to the witness stand during cross-examination as he would if she appeared in person.

“It can happen very easily that there will be other witnesses called, who I would then use this witness – were she testifying live – to contradict the other witnesses, to impeach them,” he argued.

If that happens during the trial, after the video is done, the court would have to call her back, which could cause a significant delay, he said.

“We stop the trial and we wait the week it takes to get her back, and if she fights the subpoena, it’ll take months,” Moir said.

Judge Richard McNamara said he’d take that issue, as well as a few others, under advisement.

Moir said he expects he’ll hear a decision sometime next week. Jury selection is scheduled to begin May 9.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)