Nurse at Louisville's juvenile jail accused of trafficking heroin
Her attorney claims her arrest is part of a police ploy.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman went from jail nurse to jail inmate all on the same day.
LMPD arrested Laroyal Payne on Tuesday at the Louisville Metro Youth Detention Center, where she works as a part-time nurse. She pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking Wednesday, though she has been suspended from LMYDC without pay.
The arrest ties back to Dec. 11 of last year, when Payne's Lower River Road home was searched. Court records say the LMPD narcotics unit found a small amount of marijuana in the kitchen and about a pound and a half of suspected heroin in a cooler in the garage.
"What they didn't tell you in the warrant is that her husband was locked up that day," said defense attorney Keith Kamenish.
There's no indication on whether the drugs were sold or brought into the juvenile jail, and Kamenish dismissed the arrest a month after the search as a police ploy.
"It appears to me it's following the old playbook," he said. "Get the wife involved so husband can't blame her later down the road."
At her arraignment Wednesday morning, Payne was granted home incarceration and work release with permission to continue schooling at Galen College of Nursing. The Kentucky Board of Nursing has taken no action on her LPN license.
Payne is the second youth detention staffer arrested in the last month. In December, Quality Assurance Director Toni Rice was charged with shoplifting after police said she stole $600 worth of merchandise from a Sunglass Hut. The city suspended Rice.
Payne technically doesn't work for the jail. Instead, she's paid by the jail's contracted medical provider, Correct Care Solutions, which put her on administrative leave. The company said her future employment is pending the outcome of the case.
"Disciplinary action will be taken if appropriate," Spokesperson Jim Cheney said in a statement. "We are fully committed to providing top level care at our facilities and illegal action of any nature will not be tolerated."
Youth Detention director Dr. Ursula Mullins did not respond to repeated messages for comment in this story.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.