AUGUSTA — A judge acquitted a Jefferson nurse Friday of charges she assaulted an inmate at the Kennebec County jail in 2015 by giving the female prisoner a series of injections and then a suppository without her consent.

Although Judge Eric Walker found that the state had proved that Kimberly Arlene Vigue “did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury or offensive physical contact to Brandee A. Lewis” on Dec. 21, 2015, he acquitted Vigue on the grounds that she had been ordered to perform the procedures. Walker also questioned the credibility of several of the state’s witnesses.

Vigue, 38, had waived her right to a jury trial. She did not testify in her own defense in the trial on the two misdemeanor assault charges at the Capital Judicial Center on Friday. Her attorney, C.H. Spurling, did not call any witnesses.

The Dec. 21, 2015, incident is cited in a civil lawsuit that Lewis, 22, of Palmyra, filed against Vigue, Kennebec County, corrections officers and others, including the health care provider at the jail.

Walker said it was obvious that Lewis’ repeated refusals to take her prescription psychiatric medication were frustrating and upsetting to Vigue.

“None of us know what was injected,” he said. Testimony Friday indicated it might have been Haldol, a saline solution, or lidocaine, a medication one witness said she found on a counter when she reported to work at the jail the next day.

Walker also said either that substance and/or the medication in the suppository had some type of calming effect on Lewis, who had been seated in a restraint chair after she reportedly threatened suicide.

Walker said Vigue had a valid defense – calling it a medical provider’s defense – and followed an order to administer the injections and suppository.

“I do think Ms. Vigue had some reason to believe there was something written in logs at the jail that Haldol was to be administered and gave it again,” Walker said. “There was no dispute by the physician’s assistant that he signed off on that. He initialed it that that was correct.”

Walker also concluded that some of the state’s witnesses were evasive – and speculated that could be the result of the civil lawsuit – and that several “have clear biases against this defendant.” He said there were minor inconsistencies between earlier statements and testimony, adding, “One witness, I am very concerned (about), was not being truthful at all.”

Two corrections officers were in tears when they described the events, and several testified Friday that Lewis objected to the injections and the suppository, but no indication of that was found in their written reports from the day after the incident.

Lewis was brought into the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies. She said she spent Thursday night at the York County Jail. Lewis has eight theft convictions and one arson conviction.

She testified that she refused her medications that night and that Vigue kept asking her to take them.

“I was forcefully told I had to take them. Then Ms. Vigue gave me five needles in the arm,” Lewis said. “She kept asking me after each shot. ‘Are you going to take your meds?'”

Then she said she was taken to the “search-and-shower room.”

“They stripped me and put something up my butt,” she said. Lewis said she refused. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want it.'”

She testified that her regular medications “make me happy,” but the ones she was forcibly administered that day made her tired.

Outside the courtroom after the verdict, Spurling said Vigue would not make a statement because of the lawsuit. However, he said he was “very pleased with the judge’s verdict” and that the judge’s findings about the witnesses’ credibility “was compelling.”

Vigue was fired from her job by Correctional Health Partners, which provided health care at the jail, and a notice about that termination included the allegations she had administered medications “without proper authorization and against the patient’s will.”

Vigue’s registered nursing license was placed on interim voluntary suspension by state Board of Nursing until the criminal charges were resolved.

“She is now entitled to a hearing before the nursing board,” Spurling said.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]