The mother accused of smoking Blizzard, a brand of bath salts, on the Altoona Regional maternity ward has a history of drug-related crimes, including an arrest for Blizzard possession earlier this year.
Carla J. Murphy, 31, of 1902 Third Ave. is accused of going on a rampage, striking and kicking hospital nurses and police, after smoking MDPV on June 17, two days after giving birth to a baby boy.
Several calls to Blair County Children, Youth & Families about the custody of Murphy's newborn son were not returned this week. Altoona police previously said the agency inspected Murphy's home after the hospital incident to ensure the baby would be returning to a safe environment.
During that inspection, Altoona police said they found a cache of Blizzard-related paraphernalia in the house Murphy shared with the baby's father, Michael W. Stewart, 35, who told city officers he knew Murphy had a drug problem in the past but thought she was over it.
The arrest wasn't Murphy's first run-in with police over drugs.
Murphy was charged Jan. 24 by Altoona police with drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges after officers arrested Murphy on an outstanding Blair County Sheriff's warrant, court records show.
Murphy's backpack held eight empty vials consistent with Blizzard packaging; three packets of a substance labeled "White Rush;" one labeled "Black Diamond Novelty;" and another called "Atomic Blast"; drug paraphernalia; and an unmarked plastic vial, also filled with a white substance, police said.
A wallet in the backpack held multiple forms of identification in Murphy's name, including ID cards from two former nursing home employers.
Once a certified nurse's aide, Murphy was fired on Aug. 18, 2009, from Valley View Home after she was suspected of assaulting an 87-year-old woman who was recovering at the home after breaking a hip. Murphy was charged with simple assault and harassment. Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey P. Auker tossed the charges after a December 2009 preliminary hearing failed to show enough evidence to send the case to court.
Altoona police alleged Murphy restrained the woman, who suffered from dementia, with her own gown. The patient couldn't remember the incident and one of the two fellow Valley View staff members who allegedly saw Murphy restrain the woman, was out of state and unable to make the hearing.
Murphy lost her ability to practice as a nurse's aide after the incident and according to the state Department of Health, she no longer holds a license.
Murphy was arrested in April 2010 on robbery and related charges after she sneaked into Valley View home and ripped a fentanyl patch off the back of an 86-year-old patient who also suffered from dementia, court records note. She pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to one to 23 months in Blair County Prison.
She was sentenced to four to 12 months in jail for pleading guilty after a September 2010 incident in Altoona when three young children, including two of her own, who she was supposed to be watching, were found playing unsupervised in an alley, according to court records.
Murphy also was arrested in June and August of last year for paraphernalia possession and driving under the influence, respectively. She was sentenced in April to six months' probation in Blair County for failure to appear.
While several of Murphy's latest charges filed this week by Altoona Regional Health System police are felonies, she remains free after her release Tuesday from the county jail for a probation violation.
Hospital police declined to request an arrest warrant for Murphy, according to the staff at Auker's office.
She is due to appear Aug. 8 in Central Court for her preliminary hearing on both the city's case and the hospital police's case.
Attempts to reach Murphy and Stewart for comment were unsuccessful.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.