Trial to start for Jeannette man accused of selling drugs used in brother’s fatal overdose
Opening statements will begin Tuesday in the murder trial of a Jeannette man accused of selling drugs his brother used to fatally overdose three days after Christmas 2016.
Markus McGowan, 31, is charged with one felony count of drug delivery resulting in death. Police contend he sold $60 of fentanyl to his 22-year-old brother, Matthew McGowan, who died a day later in his Greensburg apartment.
Westmoreland County prosecutors said police found an unresponsive Matthew McGowan when they responded to a call Dec. 28, 2016, at his Eastmont Street apartment. A roommate, who had that day overdosed after consuming the drugs and was taken to a Greensburg hospital, implicated Markus McGowan as the man who sold him bags of what was believed to be heroin, court records say.
The roommate told police she returned home from the hospital that evening and found Matthew McGowan unconscious.
According to court records, Markus McGowan admitted to police he sold his brother six bags of the drug and gave him a seventh free. The lone count against Markus McGowan carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for a conviction. He has been free on $250,000 bond.
On Monday, 12 jurors and two alternates were selected for the trial before Common Pleas Judge Christopher Feliciani.
Last week, Feliciani ordered police take into custody a key witness prosecutors said they need to testify but who had not committed to appearing in court. That witness was released Friday after she was outfitted with a court-ordered monitoring device usually used in the county probation department’s house arrest program.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .