A drug dealer has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the first time ever in Clark County for selling drugs that led to an overdose death .
A jury found Lucas Fowler, 25, of Springfield Twp., guilty after more than three hours of deliberations on the charges of involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking, Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said.
It was the first time in Clark County prosecutors pressed charges against a dealer for a fatal overdose.
Fowler sold heroin to William Quickle Jr. of Clark County just hours before he was found dead in his home in 2014, Wilson said.
Teresa Quickle, William Quickle’s mother, said this trial represents the impact of the drug problem in Clark County and across Ohio.
“It’s just a sad situation — a life is lost and (Fowler’s) life is forever changed. This doesn’t just affect addicts, it changes the lives of their families and children,” she said.
Her son, known as B.J. to family and friends, was a father to two sons and a daughter, Teresa Quickle said.
Fowler is currently serving a prison term for separate drug trafficking charges, Wilson said, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16 on the new convictions.
He faces between three and 11 more years in prison, according to court records.
In recent months, law enforcement has made an effort to treat drug overdose scenes like homicides and to try to find any evidence of where the drugs came from.
Going after drug dealers in these cases is part of the latest effort to combat the heroin epidemic in Clark County and Ohio, officials have said.
Some of the evidence prosecutors pointed to during the opening arguments included cell phone records between William Quickle and Fowler, video evidence from outside the store where Fowler allegedly sold the drugs and a GPS tracker that could prove the location of Fowler at that time.
City and county leaders and local law enforcement have called heroin a health crisis in Clark County.
More than 40 people have died of drug overdoses in the county since the first of this year, Clark County Coroner Richard Marsh said.
“That’s more drug overdose deaths than we had all of 2014,” Marsh said.
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