Two accused in 2010 heroin death

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police have accused Justin Wentz, 25, and Jennifer Busbey, 28, in the 2010 heroin overdose of Aaron Lawrence.
  • Police say Wentz and Busbey got the heroin and gave it to Lawrence.
  • Busbey is accused of taking the drugs from the scene, police said.
  • Wentz allegedly lied to police about the heroin usage, documents state.

Two people are accused of providing the heroin that killed a young man almost seven years ago, according to charging documents filed this week.

Justin Wentz, 28, who is currently at a state prison in Marienville, Forest County, and Jennifer Busbey, 25, of 250 Marsh Creek Heights Road, Gettysburg, allegedly let 20-year-old Aaron Lawrence die of a heroin overdose in the summer of 2010, according to court documents.

Busbey is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit third-degree murder and other drug-related charges, documents state. Wentz, who was to be arraigned Monday morning at District Judge Dwayne Dubs' office, faces the same charges.

Hanover Police say Busbey and Wentz drove to Baltimore to get the heroin, which was given to Lawrence. He overdosed from it that night, according to court documents.

Night of the overdose: Police were dispatched to 865 Broadway about 4:45 a.m. on July 20, 2010, when Wentz had called saying Lawrence was not breathing, documents allege.

Wentz told 911 dispatchers he did not know what happened to Lawrence, police said.

Emergency personnel attempted to revive Lawrence but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead not long after officials arrived.

While on scene, officers found a black purse with two baggies consistent with drug packaging, documents state. The baggies tested positive for the presence of heroin and cocaine, police said.

Busbey showed up later and confirmed that the purse belonged to her, documents allege.

"Suspiciously absent from the room was any means to prepare heroin for ingestion into the human body or any devices used to ingest the substance into the human body," Sgt. Jason Byers wrote in the affidavit or probable cause.

Police say Wentz had called and texted different people that night, leading up to his 911 call early that morning. He even called Lawrence six times between 12:30 a.m. and 1:55 a.m., despite the fact that the two were in the same residence, police said.

One friend he talked to claimed Wentz said Lawrence was "snoring up a storm," court documents state. The friend offered to take Lawrence to the hospital if there was something wrong, but Wentz declined, police said.

Hiding drugs?: In July 2013, a person known to Busbey told police that Busbey said she and Wentz had gone to Baltimore that night and came back and sold heroin to Lawrence before he died, police said. The three of them used heroin, and Lawrence began to turn blue and lose consciousness before going into convulsions, documents state.

That person told authorities Busbey and Wentz gathered all drugs and paraphernalia and left the residence, stashing the items in a shed behind Busbey's mother's home before returning, police said. The two returned to the residence and found Lawrence dead, documents state.

That person said Busbey felt no remorse for selling him the heroin, despite the fact that Lawrence had just been released from incarceration and his tolerance was low, according to court documents.

Another person who knew Busbey told police Busbey admitted to being there when Lawrence died and selling him the fatal batch, police allege. Busbey allegedly told that person she left the home and came back later to make it look like she had just arrived, according to documents.

"Busbey stated that 'police did not have enough to go on, and she would probably never be charged,'" Byers wrote in charging documents. Busbey allegedly said she did not call 911 because she did not want to be "involved" in the death, police said.

Busbey said had she not gone and gotten heroin, Lawrence would "probably still be here," court documents state.

In December 2013, police spoke to Busbey, who said the three pitched in to get heroin, police said. She said they went to Wentz's home, where she and Lawrence did the drugs. Wentz did not because he was having a drug test soon, police said.

Busbey said she left the residence to sell more drugs and did not return to the residence until Wentz called her, telling her he didn't think Lawrence was breathing, police said. Police say Wentz called her twice, just before calling 911 that night.

Busbey admitted to hiding the remaining heroin before returning to the scene, documents state, but she denied "cleaning" the scene or being present when Lawrence was having a medical issue.

Speaking with Wentz in 2014, police say he denied delivering drugs to Lawrence.

Police say had Narcan been administered in a "timely manner," Lawrence would have survived.

Charges were filed Tuesday for the two, and Busbey was arraigned on the charges Thursday, online court records state. She remains free on $250,000 unsecured bail, meaning she did not have to post any money to remain free but could forfeit that amount if she misses court proceedings.

Busbey did not return a phone message requesting comment, and she does not have an attorney listed.

Online court records show Wentz pleaded guilty to aggravated assault by vehicle charges out of Adams County in July 2015. He is currently being held in the state prison in Forest County.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.