CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A woman charged in connection with the overdose death of a former Green Township police officer could face more than 20 years in prison, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.
Deters announced Thursday the indictment of Amanda Witt, 26, on one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of corrupting another with drugs, and one count of tampering with evidence.
Witt gave drugs to former police officer and former attorney Richard Vanderyt which resulted in his overdose death on March 16, Deters said.
Deters says that Vanderyt asked Witt for cocaine but what he got was fentanyl.
According to the indictment, Witt caused Vanderyt’s death by “inducing or causing” him to use fentanyl, causing him “serious harm or to become drug dependent.”
“Drugs affect our entire community. Rich Vanderyt was a respected member of the Cincinnati Bar, and his death is a loss to our community,” Deters said. “Sadly, we are seeing more cases where people think they are ingesting one substance when in reality it is something much deadlier.”
In addition to being a former police officer and attorney, Vanderyt was a firefighter, a former D.A.R.E. officer, and heran for Hamilton County sheriff in 2016.
His family says they were surprised to find out that he would turn to drugs.
“It feels so odd,” his sister, Angela Schmidt, said. “Richard was so against drugs, totally against drugs.”
Schmidt says she has never heard of Witt nor does she know what her relationship was to her brother.
An incident report from Green Township police says an officer performed CPR on VandeRyt shortly after midnight on March 16. It says the fire department took over, but first responders were unable to revive him.
Witt is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center. Her bond was set Thursday at $500,000.