Lewisburg, Pa. – Two people from Milton were charged with allegedly delivering the fatal dose of fentanyl that killed a man in Lewisburg in May.
Kelly M. Rice, 26, and Brady C. Hall, 37, were charged with one felony count each of drug delivery resulting in death; conspiracy – drug delivery resulting in death; manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver; and related charges.
Police allege both are responsible for helping Cody Yearick of Lewisburg obtain a fatal dose of fentanyl the evening of May 29. Yearick was found unresponsive on the sidewalk near his S. Fifth Street apartment shortly before midnight.
Buffalo Valley Regional Police (BVRP) and EMS responded to the scene and found Yearick “unresponsive and his skin color blue,” according to the affidavit written by Patrolman Gary V. Heckman of BVRP. Emergency personnel attempted to revive Yearick with Narcan and CPR, but he was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital.
A toxicology report from the Union County Coroner’s Office stated that Yearick had a lethal level of fentanyl in his system. The coroner’s report also noted Yearick had two injection sites on his right forearm, according to the affidavit.
Police noticed a man and a woman at the scene who were watching the resuscitation efforts for Yearick. When police interviewed the woman, she told police that Rice had asked her to check on Yearick that evening. The woman reportedly told police that Rice, who was with Yearick earlier in the evening, “was afraid to contact 911 and remain at the scene because Rice allegedly had active warrants for traffic tickets,” the affidavit stated.
When police first interviewed Rice, she told them she had been at Yearick’s apartment earlier on the evening of May 29 and that “she and Yearick used heroin together,” according to the affidavit. She reportedly told them the heroin was packaged in foil and she did not know where Yearick had obtained it.
Rice also initially told police Yearick “did a shot of heroin” and later recanted to say he snorted it. She denied giving Yearick a needle and alleged he did not have one at hand, Heckman wrote in the affidavit.
As Rice was leaving Yearick’s residence that night, she thought “he was having issues from the heroin” as he walked her to her vehicle. She alleged she asked if he was “ok” and said Yearick responded he was “ok.” Rice then reportedly told police she asked Yearick to text her when he was back inside his apartment. When she didn’t hear back from Yearick, she asked a female friend to check on him, Heckman wrote in the affidavit.
Police were able to obtain Yearick’s cell phone and search text messages that indicate that Rice helped to set up two sales of heroin with Hall the evening of May 29.
For the first sale, Rice allegedly picked up Hall on Broadway Street in Milton at 6:30 p.m. and drove him to Yearick’s place of employment in Milton. Yearick walked outside to Rice’s vehicle to obtain the heroin from Hall. Rice told police that Hall told Yearick to “be careful with the stuff because it is strong,” Heckman wrote in the affidavit.
Later that evening, Yearick allegedly sent another text message to Rice asking for a needle. She told police that she only had one needle and does not share needles, Heckman wrote in the affidavit.
Yearick texted Rice again a short time later asking for $100 of heroin. Police determined through Yearick’s text messages from May 29 that Rice had picked him up from his apartment and drove him to Milton to meet Hall for a second sale.
The second heroin sale was near Hall’s home at the 300 block of Hepburn Street. Yearick was wearing an ankle monitor from Union County Adult Probation, and GPS coordinates showed he was one block away from Hall’s home at 9:28 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Rice initially denied setting up the second sale of heroin with Hall on May 29. She later admitted to facilitating the second sale when police showed her screen shots of her text messages with Yearick.
Rice has denied knowing it was fentanyl that Yearick purchased from Hall. Though police pointed out there was a text message between her and Yearick stating she would help him “shoot up,” she told them “just because I said that, it does not mean that I would do it,” Heckman wrote in the affidavit.
Rice told police she did not know Yearick was overdosing and that she “would not of left her friend laying on the sidewalk to die,” Heckman added.
Rice was on arraigned on Wednesday at the office of District Magistrate Jeffrey A. Rowe. Her preliminary hearing is set for 3:45 p.m. August 6 at Rowe’s office.
Hall is awaiting a preliminary arraignment date.