Jury convicts Duquesne man for supplying drugs that caused 2017 overdose death
An Allegheny County jury deliberated about three hours before convicting a Duquesne man for supplying the drugs that caused a Clairton man’s 2017 overdose death.
It was the first such jury conviction since a 2011 change in state law made it possible to charge someone in a fatal drug overdose even if the intent wasn’t to kill the person, according to District Attorney’s office spokesman Mike Manko.
Others have pleaded guilty to the charge of drug delivery resulting in death or pleaded to lesser charges.
Tyree Marce Saunders, 27, was found guilty of supplying the fentanyl that was sold as heroin that killed 27-year-old Jeremy Clark. His trial started Tuesday.
Clark bought the drugs from Saunders and police used the dead man’s cellphone to trace them to Saunders. Police arranged another drug deal with Saunders and arrested him.
The stamp bags Saunders sold were marketed as heroin, but lab tests revealed they were pure fentanyl, police said in a criminal complaint.
Saunders’ attorney, Joseph Horowitz, declined to comment on the case.
Saunders will be sentenced Dec. 5 by Judge David Cashman.
In June, a jury was deadlocked in a similar case involving a Richland man who supplied the heroin that killed a McCandless man in 2016. Robert Keller, 32, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in that case and was sentenced to between two and a half to five years in prison.
Keller’s case was the first to be heard by a jury on the charge, Manko said.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .