Mason City woman facing separate felony charges of giving Fentanyl to patient at hospital, forgery

MASON CITY — A Mason City woman is facing two felony charges in separate incidents, including one incident where she entered a patient’s room at a hospital and gave the patient Fentanyl.

Court documents state that 49-year-old Sharla Murphy went into a patient’s room at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center on the afternoon of January 4th, where she allegedly handed the patient a receipt with an unknown substance on it. The patient ingested the substance and life-saving measures had to be taken.

Nursing staff turned the receipt with residue of the substance over to a Mason City police officer, with the crime lab later confirming that the substance was Fentanyl. The patient identified Murphy as the person who brought her the substance, with Murphy allegedly admitting to visiting the patient and giving her the receipt.

Murphy was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with a Class C-level controlled substance violation, which if convicted could result in a ten-year prison term.

On Thursday, Mason City police filed a criminal complaint on a Class D felony charge of forgery. The complaint says that Murphy entered HyVee East in Mason City on September 15th and used a computer-generated bogus payroll check of $477 made out to a person she did not know, as well as possessed a stolen identification card to cash the check at the store.

Police say Murphy cashed the check, kept $50 and gave the rest to a co-conspirator. Police were not able to identify Murphy right away, but a few days later when the check was found to be fake, police were able to use an ink thumb print from Murphy before completing the transaction and sent it to the state crime lab, where they were able to link the print to Murphy.

Murphy is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on a total of $15,000 cash-only bond. She’s due in court for preliminary hearings in both cases on March 11th.