A Markleysburg woman was sentenced to six months of supervised probation Monday for tampering with physical evidence at a crime scene after her boyfriend overdosed and died on April 4, 2017.
Linda Svenungsen, 49, Walker Road, said her intentions were not criminal. She never intended to hide anything from the police, she said in a Somerset County courtroom.
“I just wanted to clear the area to make it easier for the EMS to get to Jason quicker,” she said. She had to pause several times to compose herself at the lectern.
Her boyfriend, Jason Enos, 39, died at the residence along Conn Road in Lower Turkeyfoot Township.
Police found drugs and drug paraphernalia had been removed and Enos’ cellphone log had been deleted through an investigation into his death, according to court documents.
The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Zachary Rogers, a 28-year-old McHenry, Maryland, man, also was charged with the crime.
Nine days after Enos died, police interviewed Rogers at the Somerset state police barracks. The then-27-year-old said he was staying with Enos, found him unresponsive and called 911. Svenungsen instructed him to dispose of items at the scene. He placed a stamp bag, spoon and syringe from Enos’ bedroom in the bottom of a garbage can, according to court documents.
He also told police that he deleted the call log and text messages from Enos’ cellphone.
Svenungsen left the residence before police arrived.
Initially, Rogers was charged, along with Svenungsen, with tampering with evidence. The charge against Rogers was withdrawn by the district attorney’s office at his preliminary hearing Nov. 28.
As for Svenungsen, “she was only rendering aid to Jason,” her attorney, Megan Will of Somerset, reiterated after the sentencing.
President Judge D. Gregory Geary ordered Svenungsen to pay the costs of prosecution and supervision and a $100 fine.
The sentence is within the standard range of the sentencing guidelines, he said. The judge also noted her lack of a prior criminal record.
Svenungsen has been free on an unsecured $10,000 bond since she was arraigned on the charges.