Woman avoids prison in Hanover-area drug death

Diana Williams

A Hampstead, Maryland, woman has avoided prison for her role in providing the drugs that led to the death of a woman in West Manheim Township more than three years ago.

On Friday, June 28, Diana Williams, 56, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of drug possession with intent to deliver  in connection with the death of Skylar Nicole Smith in 2015.

Online court records state Williams' charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy to commit drug possession with intent to deliver and involuntary manslaughter were dismissed as a result of her plea.

She was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.

West Manheim Township Police have said Smith's boyfriend, Benjamin Yelton, bought a small amount of heroin from Williams, which Smith used.

On Monday, June 24, Yelton, 31, of Karthaus, Clearfield County, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for giving the drugs to Smith. 

Skylar Nicole Smith

The two are among five people charged with drug delivery resulting in death for their alleged roles in providing Smith with the heroin that killed her in 2015. One other defendant, Jacob Largent, pleaded guilty to a lesser offense.

Largent, 24, of Hampstead, pleaded guilty in June 2018 to conspiracy to deal drugs and was sentenced to a year minus a day to two years minus two days in York County Prison, court records state.

The first-degree felony cases remain active for the two remaining defendants. They are Denise Crone, 48, of Glen Rock, and Joseph Paul, 20, of Hampstead.

More:Five accused in drug death of Hanover-area woman

More:Hanover-area woman's boyfriend gets 10-20 years for her fatal drug OD

Benjamin Dwayne Yelton

The background: West Manheim Township Police were called to a home in the 1500 block of Oakwood Drive on Dec. 11, 2015, where they found Smith lying in a hallway, unresponsive, according to court documents.

Yelton  told police Smith had taken 15 mg of Percocet and that she was found facedown in the bathtub, documents state. Yelton said he pulled Smith out of the tub and tried to perform CPR on her, police said.

Yelton initially denied that Smith had used heroin, police said, but her autopsy results showed she died of a combination of drugs, including heroin.

He was overheard stating, 'I killed her' two separate times as he moved about within the residence," court documents state.

A search of Yelton's and Smith's cellphones revealed talk of a drug transaction involving Yelton, Crone and Paul, according to court documents.

After the transaction, Yelton took the heroin home and gave it to Smith, charging documents state.

A message left for Williams' attorney seeking comment was not immediately returned.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.