Nursing home robber trades clown mask for prison uniform

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A woman who wore a clown mask while robbing a West Virginia nursing home last May faces 10 years in federal prison.

Morgan Marie Mullins, now 28, pleaded guilty in June to robbing the Genesis HealthCare-owned Teays Valley Center Nursing Home in Hurricane, where she was employed at the time.

Mullins entered through a shower room window she knew would be unlocked, according to court records. Then, wearing a clown mask, she brandished a pistol and spoke in a fake accent as she obtained prescription painkillers from on-duty workers.

Mullins was an Oxycodone addict who experienced gender identity issues, according to local reports.

Based on descriptions provided after the robbery, authorities believed the suspect was a Hispanic man. However, Mullins was connected with the nursing home crime after being identified while robbing a bank in the area later that month.

"This case shows in very stark terms the devastating effects of the prescription drug epidemic," said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin in a statement released Thursday. 

Long-term care facilities are on the front lines of the epidemic Goodwin referenced, as spiking Oxycodone use is linked to an aging population. LTC operators have been challenged to provide prescription painkillers to residents in a timely manner while keeping the drugs secure.

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