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Details emerge on identity theft charge against Kansas woman held in hospital death case

Photo Illustration - Carlos Moreno
Livingston County Sheriff's Office

Lenexa police believe that Jennifer Hall called in a prescription for antidepressants using personal information of a co-worker. Hall has been charged in the 2002 death of a patient at a hospital in Chillicothe, Missouri.

An Overland Park woman in custody for allegedly killing a patient at a Missouri hospital also faces allegations that she stole another person’s identity to call in a prescription for antidepressants.

Jennifer Hall allegedly picked up a prescription for the drug Silenor at a Hen House in Lenexa in March 2019 that was called in under the name of someone else who worked with her at the Bariatric Center of Kansas City in Lenexa.

That person, whose name is redacted in an affidavit released in Johnson County District Court on Friday, was out on maternity leave when the prescription was called in and denied prescribing Hall antidepressants.

Police were given Hall’s internet search history, which showed that less than an hour before the prescription was called in, she allegedly searched for “terminology for 1 by mouth at night.”

The information in the affidavit formed the basis for a felony identity theft charge that the Johnson County District Attorney filed against Hall on May 6. The affidavit was unsealed almost a week later when authorities arrested her.

Hall, who also goes by Jennifer Semaboye, has since been transferred to the Livingston County jail, where she faces charges of first-degree murder in the 2002 death of Fern Franco, a patient at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Matthew O’Connor, a Kansas City attorney who represents Hall in the Chillicothe matter, could not be reached for comment about the identity theft charge in Johnson County. O’Connor previously said that prosecutors lack evidence that his client was responsible for the death at Hedrick Medical Center.

Hall worked at the hospital for about five months, starting in late 2001 and ending in May 2002. During that time, nine patients died of “code blue” events, or sudden cardiac arrest.

Hall was put on administrative leave days after Franco’s death in May 2002 and never returned to work at Hedrick Medical Center.

A doctor, a risk manager and others who worked at Hedrick Medical Center at the time suspected Hall’s involvement in the patient deaths.

Years later several families of deceased patients at Hedrick Medical Center sued the hospital and its owner. The lawsuits named Hall as the person who overdosed patients with succinylcholine, a muscle relaxant given to patients prior to intubation, as well as insulin and other drugs.

Hall maintained she did not cause the patient deaths, and a long-running investigation did not result in criminal charges until earlier this month, two decades after the code blue events.

Hall is being held without bond in Livingston County. O’Connor had previously asked a Livingston County judge to consider reducing her bond, citing his client’s scheduled treatments for leukemia and seizure disorder, among other issues.

A hearing was held to discuss Hall’s bond on Friday. The judge, according to online court records, remained concerned about steps Hall allegedly took to evade law enforcement and was concerned about the safety of witnesses and victims, based on testimony given at the hearing.

The judge denied bond and set Hall's case for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 16.

Steve Vockrodt is the former investigative editor for the Midwest Newsroom.