Unity man charged with selling heroin that killed woman in 2017
A Unity man was arrested Thursday by state police on charges of selling the fatal dose of heroin that killed a 24-year-old woman in 2017.
David L. Jellison, 27, of the village of Hostetter was arraigned before District Judge Michael Mahady on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, manufacturing, delivery and possessing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
Jellison was sent back to the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bond. He has been incarcerated at the county prison since June 24 after failing to post $1,000 bond when he was arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident along Route 30 near Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield, according to court records.
According to Trooper Michael Thompson, state police and the county coroner’s office were called at 1 a.m. Sept. 3, 2017, to an apartment on Murray Avenue in Unity for a suspected drug overdose. Thompson said in court documents that Holly Hudson was taken by ambulance to Excela Health Latrobe hospital in Latrobe, where she was pronounced dead.
State police investigators found an empty heroin stamp bag marked “Diesel” on the floor of the apartment where Hudson was found.
“Further investigation during the morning of Sept. 3, revealed that Hudson walked just up the road to the David Jellison, also known as Jelly, residence at 111 First St. in Hostetter to purchase heroin between 10 and 11 p.m. Sept. 2, a few hours before her death,” Thompson wrote in court documents.
A search of Hudson’s cell telephone showed multiple text messages between Hudson and Jellison, police said.
Thompson reported that Jellison responded in one message that he “has Diesels,” which matched the identification stamped on the bag recovered next to Hudson’s body.
Later Sept. 3, troopers obtained a warrant and confiscated multiple stamp bags marked “Diesel” from Jellison’s apartment, according to court documents.
Thompson said Jellison admitted in an interview that he had sold Hudson two stamp bags of “Diesel” the night before at $15 each. According to court documents, Jellison also said he purchased the heroin from an unknown person in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County.
A forensic analysis completed at the state police crime laboratory in Hempfield disclosed that the heroin packets confiscated from Jellison marked “Diesel” contained a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil, Thompson said.
Fentanyl and carfentanil are synthetic pain killers many times more powerful than heroin.
Mahady scheduled a preliminary hearing on the 2017 heroin overdose case for Aug. 26. Jellison has a hearing on the car crash case on Tuesday.
Jellison’s private attorney in the accident case, James A. Crosby of Murrysville, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .