Caregiver pleads guilty in death of Leland man

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Sarah Cameron (Photo: Brunswick Co. Sheriff's Office)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A home health care worker charged in the 2017 death of one of her patients pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felony negligent care causing injury to a patient.

Sarah Cameron, 30, appeared in a Brunswick County courtroom on Wednesday.

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Assistant District Attorney Chris Thomas said while the state asked for the maximum sentence of 29 months, Cameron received a sentence of 90 days in jail, followed by a 23 month suspended sentence and three years probation.

On August 4, 2017, Buren Harrelson, 47, was found dead in his home at Brunswick Point Apartments in Leland.

Prosecutors say Cameron was a home health care worker taking care of Harrelson, who had cerebral palsy and other congenital health issues.

Cameron and her boyfriend shared with Harrelson prescribed medications and other controlled substances via the dark web in China.

An autopsy showed Harrelson had died from acute toxicity of Buprenorphine, which had been prescribed to Cameron, and Etizolam, a potent central nerve suppressant that Thomas said is commonly imported from other countries.

Thomas said it was standing room only in court during the plea.

Thomas said Harrelson was well known in the community. He was told he would not live past the age of five because of his health. He ended up graduating from North Brunswick High School and receiving an associates degree from Brunswick Community College. He had worked for 10  years as a greeter at the Leland Walmart.