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Two charged with 2017 drug death plead guilty

A Warren man has pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter stemming from a 2017 drug death.

Douglas A. Harkins of Sugar Grove, Cody A. Streit of Warren, and Michael J. Marshall of Warren, were each charged in the death of Robert Marshall, 24, of Warren, earlier this year.

Streit and Marshall both entered guilty pleas on Thursday before President Judge Maureen Skerda.

Streit pled to charges of involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy (possession with intent to deliver) and criminal use of a communications facility.

Involuntary manslaughter, Skerda announced, is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of five years and fines of up to $10,000. The other two charges are felony offenses.

In exchange for the plea, charges of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver and recklessly endangering another person were not prosecuted.

Marshall pled guilty to tamper with/fabricate physical evidence and possession of a controlled substance. Charges of possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy (possession with intent to deliver) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Robert Marshall died of acute intoxication of a chemical in a synthetic marijuana — Hypnotic Black Sabbath — allegedly ordered and furnished by Streit and Harkins.

During interviews with police, according to the affidavit, Harkins said the drugs were delivered to Streit and Streit said the drugs were delivered to Harkins.

According to the affidavit, “Harkins tried some of the (drug) and became very sick” on April 3.

Shortly thereafter, according to the affidavit, Robert Marshall, his mother, her boyfriend, Michael Marshall, Streit and Harkins were at Harkins’ residence.

According to the affidavit, Harkins “packed a pipe of the (drug) with the package name Black Sabbath, and passed the pipe around to the group. The victim smoked the pipe given to him by defendant Harkins and smoked at least two different packed pipes of the Black Sabbath while he was at the residence.”

“The group left the Harkins’ residence and traveled back to” Warren, according to the affidavit. “Upon arrival to the Warren area, co-defendants Streit and Marshall both noticed the victim was not responding to them. It was suggested at that time to take the victim to the emergency room. The victim was not taken at that time because of fear he would get in trouble for being on drugs.”

“At the residence… the victim was not responsive and could not exit the vehicle,” according to the affidavit. “The victim was dragged from the vehicle and then rolled down a hill located next to the residence due to his size.”

“The victim lay in the yard until it was found that he was not breathing,” according to the affidavit. “The co-defendant Marshall contacted neighbors who helped drag the victim into the residence where one of the neighbors began CPR. Another neighbor contacted 911 and authorities were dispatched to the scene. The victim was transported to Warren General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”

According to the affidavit, Michael Marshall admitted to seeing Robert Marshall in distress and cleaned up his drugs and paraphernalia before responders arrived.

Harkins is still awaiting trial.

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