A Warren County man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday by Warren County Common Please Judge Donald Oda, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announced.
Austin Wells, 26, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs in the drug overdose death of Ryan Patrick, 31 in December.
It was the first ever conviction for involuntary manslaughter against a defendant who furnished illegal drugs to a local man that died of a drug overdose.
“We are now seeing four times as many people die in Warren County of drug overdoses (almost always heroin or fentanyl) than traffic crashes,” said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
Fornshell says Patrick exchanged drugs with Austin Wells, who was a friend. Patrick injected what he thought was heroin before overdosing and dying. Toxicology reports, according to Fornshell, showed a mix of fentanyl and cocaine in Patrick’s system.
Prosecutors say he exchanged drugs with a friend - Austin Wells.
"The jury in this case basically said, “Enough is enough and we're going to hold you to account when you go out and you sell a product – a poison - that's killing people,” Fornshell said.
With this conviction, Fornshell and his office are hoping it'll set a landmark coupled with a heavy message.
"If you do this, you're going to get prosecuted and you will go to prison,” he said.