Crime & Courts

Former Kansas EMT who swapped saline solution for morphine gets probation sentence

Trenton Twidwell is suing Kristin Duncan, the doctor he saw at the CareNow urgent care clinic for a foot wound. The suit alleges that Duncan never cultured the wound, the antibiotics she prescribed were ineffective and Twidwell had to have his foot amputated.
Trenton Twidwell is suing Kristin Duncan, the doctor he saw at the CareNow urgent care clinic for a foot wound. The suit alleges that Duncan never cultured the wound, the antibiotics she prescribed were ineffective and Twidwell had to have his foot amputated.

A former Kansas EMT who stole morphine sulfate from vials and then refilled them with saline solution has been sentenced to five years of federal probation, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Colby W. VanWagoner, 33, of Mayetta, admitted to tampering with the drug bottles while he worked for the Jackson County Emergency Medical Service in Holton. After he swapped saline solution for the morphine, he put the vials back into ambulances and in office stocks. Tests conducted on the tainted bottles revealed a morphine concentration as low as one percent when it should have been 100 percent.

VanWagoner pleaded guilty in December to one count of obtaining a controlled substance by deception and one count of making a false statement during an investigation. Under the conditions of his federal probation, he can’t hold any job that gives him access to controlled substances without permission from his probation officer and he has to complete substance abuse treatment, McAllister said in a news release.

Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.

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