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District Attorney Hoovler Announces State Prison Sentence in Fatal Overdose Case
Defendant Who Pled Guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree for Selling Heroin and Fentanyl to Fatal Overdose Victim Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Ashley Parker, 27, of Deerpark, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge William L. DeProspo to a total of four years in state prison in connection with having sold heroin and fentanyl to a Port Jervis woman who subsequently died of an overdose from ingesting those narcotics in late May, 2019. On November 14, 2019, Parker had pleaded guilty, to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
On May 31, 2019, the City of Port Jervis Police Department responded to a residence on West Main Street, in Port Jervis, where they found the deceased woman, as well as glassine envelopes contained heroin and fentanyl which were stamped “Untouchable”. An autopsy revealed that the woman had died as a result of having ingested the narcotics. A joint investigation was conducted by the Port Jervis City Police Department, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New York State Police, the Town of Deerpark Police and the Mid-Hudson FBI Safe Streets Task Force. At the time that she pleaded guilty, Parker admitted selling those drugs to the now deceased woman on either May 30, 2019 or May 31, 2019, at Parker’s Town of Deerpark residence, and admitted that those narcotics caused the death of the woman who had purchased them.
Prior to pleading guilty Parker was in the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail which was set in the amount of $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond. After the Criminal Justice Reform legislation became effective on January 1, 2020, the District Attorney’s office is no longer able to seek bail for those accused of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance or Criminally Negligent Homicide.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office follows the same protocols when assisting its law enforcement partners who are investigating fatal overdoses as they do in homicide cases. This includes drafting search warrants and other documents to ensure that the locations where the narcotics were sold and ingested, as well as locations where people succumbed to overdoses, can be processed as crime scenes and that all available potential evidence is preserved. In some situations, New York State law often precludes the filing of homicide charges against those who sold the narcotics which have resulted in death. In those cases where homicide charges can be filed, the charge is frequently the class E felony of Criminally Negligent Homicide, which is a lower class of felony than the class B felony of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Port Jervis City Police Department, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New York State Police, the Town of Deerpark Town Police Department and the Mid-Hudson FBI Safe Streets Task Force, for their investigation of the overdose death which resulted in the charges.
District Attorney Hoovler commended Assistant District Attorney Janine Kovacs for her assistance in the investigation and for handling the prosecution of Parker.
“Those who sell drugs that result in fatal overdoses must be held accountable for their actions,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The lethal nature of heroin, and the fentanyl that is frequently sold with it, has been well documented and well publicized. This case is a reminder that even offenses which are legally defined as “non-violent” and for which we now cannot seek bail can have devastating and fatal consequences. My deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased in this case. I urge all who suffer from substance abuse disorders to seek help before there are additional tragic consequences. My office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to give cases involving fatal overdoses the attention they deserve.”