Restitution Discussed in Kenjora Case

CLEARFIELD – Discussion in motions court in Clearfield County included the restitution owed by an Osceola Mills woman convicted of shooting her health care nurse.

Marlene W. Kenjora, 71, an inmate of state prison was found guilty of criminal attempt/murder in the first degree, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault after a trial in September. She was sentenced in November to 12 to 24 years in state prison.

The charges stem from an incident at Kenjora’s home when she shot the victim, Erin Schaeffer, as she was calling a crisis hotline on Dec. 6, 2012.

Ronald Collins, attorney for Kenjora, filed a motion to credit part of the restitution amount of more than $67,000 ordered by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman when she was sentenced.

Collins explained that a civil suit against Kenjora filed by Schaeffer was resolved with Schaeffer receiving $100,000. He asked this be taken into consideration toward the amount previously ordered. Ammerman granted the motion for the $63,479 designated for Schaeffer’s insurance company. Kenjora is still responsible for an additional amount for mileage and other expenses.

Ammerman asked the district attorney’s office to supply Collins with a breakdown of the remaining balance. It is possible that some of these charges were also covered by the civil settlement. After receiving the breakdown, Collins has 10 days to respond. The court will then determine what additional steps if any, are necessary.

Schaeffer’s testimony in the trial revealed that in November of 2012 Kenjora was having mental health issues leading to Schaeffer calling a crisis line and Kenjora being taken to a hospital. On the day of the shooting, Dec. 6, 2012, Schaeffer visited Kenjora just a few days after her release from that hospital.

As Schaeffer tried to fill Kenjora’s pill organizer with her new medication, Kenjora became upset. Schaeffer again found herself calling a crisis line about her patient. While she was on the phone, Kenjora ran upstairs and came back with a gun. She shot Schaeffer, who didn’t even realize what had happened until she touched her head and found blood.

Other testimony from neighbors and friends told a story of a woman confused and obsessed with her medications following her release from the hospital. Schaeffer under cross examination stated that the new doses ordered by the hospital were not “high enough.”

Dr. Cyril Gamis, a psychiatrist employed by Brookville Hospital, testified at the trial that Kenjora was being treated for bi-polar disorder. Those with the disorder experience extreme mood swings, which go from depression to mania. Manic symptoms are similar to being high on drugs. Patients can have delusions and not be in touch with reality, he said.

Kenjora was hospitalized because she was not taking her medication and was showing signs of depression again. Because of side effects, he said he couldn’t just start her at the same level of medication she had been on. He had to increase the dosage slowly. She improved and was “looking forward to things” and even helping other patients. When she was released, she was stabilized, he testified.

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