Drug dealer guilty of manslaughter in overdose death
Cleveland – A Cleveland drug dealer has been found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter for selling a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that killed a man last May, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced today.
Mario L. Edmonds, 35, was convicted by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John Sutula after a three-day bench trial. In addition to Involuntary Manslaughter, a first-degree felony, Judge Sutula found the defendant guilty of Corrupting Another with Drugs, Possessing Criminal Tools, two counts of Trafficking and two counts of Drug Possession.
Sentencing has been scheduled for April 20.
Evidence at trial showed that Edmonds supplied a fatal dose of drugs to William Cohen, 66, of Cleveland. Mr. Cohen’s body was discovered around 1:30 p.m. on May 31, 2015, in an apartment on East 98th Street in Cleveland. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Marymount Hospital.
Evidence recovered at the scene included Mr. Cohen’s cell phone, which helped lead investigators to Edmonds. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Mr. Cohen died after injecting a deadly mixture of fentanyl and heroin.
Today’s conviction comes as Cuyahoga County is dealing with an epidemic of overdose deaths, many of them involving fentanyl, a painkiller many times more powerful than heroin.
In 2015, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office attributed more than 230 deaths to heroin, fentanyl or a combination of the two. Since the first of the year, Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson has reported a sharp spike in these fatal overdoses; the Medical Examiner’s Office estimates at least 100 such deaths in Cuyahoga County already this year.
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