Man acquitted in neighbor's fatal drug overdose

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A Fairview Township man dealt drugs but wasn’t responsible for his neighbor’s overdose death four years ago, a jury decided.

Mark Troup Jr., 51, went to trial this month, charged in the death of Dustin Baublitz following a heroin deal.

Mark D. Troup Jr.

Fairview Township police alleged Troup told an officer he had met with Baublitz on Sept. 28, 2018, and gave him a baggie of heroin he’d picked up from Harrisburg. They then got high that night, according to details in the criminal complaint.

Early the next morning, police responded to a call and found that the 27-year-old Baublitz had died in the kitchen of his home in the 100 block of Meadowbrook Road in New Cumberland, a few doors down from Troup’s home, according to the complaint.

Police found a mobile phone and a hypodermic needle in the pocket of Baublitz’s shorts. A search of the phone showed texts to a contact named “Marky Mark” in which Baublitz asked for drugs, investigators alleged.

Information on the phone was used to locate Troup. When police investigated his phone a few days later, they found texts were apparently deleted, the complaint shows.

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An autopsy showed Baublitz died from mixed substance toxicity and that he had fentanyl, morphine, ethanol and marijuana in his system, the complaint states.

Troup was charged two years later, in 2020, with felony counts of drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a computer and illegal use of a communication device.

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He went to trial in the York County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 12, 2022, court documents show. A day later, a jury reached a verdict and acquitted Troup of the drug delivery resulting in death (DDRD) charge.

Such charges are increasingly used by prosecutors as they respond to a wave drug overdose deaths, specifically those stemming from opioid use. According to the most recently data compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), prosecutors statewide filed 246 DDRD charges in 2019 versus 54 just five years earlier.

The data also showed that Lancaster and York counties led the state in the usage of the charge, each accounting for 11% of DDRD charges statewide, according to the AOPC.

Despite the acquittal on the DDRD charge, the jury in Troup's case found him guilty of the dealing and illegal communication device use counts. The fourth charge, unlawful use of a computer, was withdrawn, court records show.

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He’s scheduled to be sentenced on the two guilty counts on Dec. 22.

The York County District Attorney's Office, through spokesperson Kyle King, said, "As in all cases, we certainly respect the jury's verdict."

Troup’s attorney, George Marros, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the case.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.