Fatal overdose trials end with convictions
Two men face prison time for dealing drugs that led to lethal overdoses in York County.
Jerrod Scott and Charles Cassell III were both convicted following trials in unrelated cases over the last two weeks.
A jury found Scott, 36, of Harrisburg, guilty of counts of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver, illegal access of a device, theft and receiving stolen property Thursday, the fourth day of his trial, court documents show.
He was acquitted of third-degree murder and a misdemeanor count of tampering with evidence.
Carroll Township Police alleged Scott dealt fentanyl to Zack Savage of Dillsburg and a woman in June 2019. The three then did the drugs at a park, and Savage passed out there.
Scott and the woman carried Savage to a car, and they then drove back to the woman’s home in Dillsburg. They left him in the car that night, and he was found dead the next morning, according to investigators.
Savage died from mixed-drug toxicity, police said.
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Scott was later charged in December 2020, and the case wound through the court system until his trial began March 27.
Following the jury’s verdict, Scott is scheduled to be sentenced June 19.
Cassell, meanwhile, was guilty of third-degree murder, drug delivery resulting in death and counts of possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communication device, tampering with evidence and reckless endangerment at the end of his trial three-day on March 22, court documents show.
In that case, York City Police said the 55-year-old Cassell and Angelique Smith did two bags of potent heroin he’d purchased as they drove around in his car on Oct. 23, 2020. The trip came a day after Smith left a rehab center in Lancaster.
Smith overdosed during the ride.
Police said Cassell performed CPR to try and resuscitate her in a parking lot at one point. He then put her back in his car and drove around some more before noticing she had died.
He then allegedly drove around for nearly two more hours and tossed evidence before he called 911 to report Smith’s death, according to charging documents.
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When police responded to the call, they found Smith dead in Cassell’s car while it was parked behind the Royal Farms gas station along Loucks Road.
An autopsy found Smith died from acute fentanyl toxicity, police said.
Cassell was charged in November 2021 after an investigation.
With his conviction, he’s scheduled to be sentenced May 1, court documents show.
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The York County District Attorney’s Office and the attorneys for Scott and Cassell did not return messages seeking comment on the cases.
The charge of drug delivery resulting in death was added to Pennsylvania law around 2011 as an effort to deter drug dealing and overdose deaths. It’s a first-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.