Lawyer: No evidence in Westmoreland fatal heroin overdose cases
A Wilkinsburg man awaiting trial on charges that he sold doses of heroin that killed two Westmoreland men who died on the same day in late 2016 wants a judge to dismiss the case.
The lawyer for Theordore Brown IV told Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio on Monday there was no evidence to support two counts of drug delivery resulting in death filed in connection with the fatal overdoses.
Defense attorney Milton Raiford said political pressure and the atmosphere surrounding a preliminary hearing for Brown in early 2017 led to the criminal charges being erroneously upheld by Hempfield Magisterial District Judge Mark Monsour.
“The whole thing was oppressive, emotional and the magistrate may have felt he was required to hold the charges,” Raiford said.
Raiford suggested race is an issue in the case against Brown, who is black.
Police said Brown, 24, supplied fentenyl-laced heroin that was blamed for the deaths on Nov. 6, 2016, of 21-year-old Malachai Mundorff in Derry Township and Kenneth Wayne Blystone, 53, of Hempfield.
Brown sold the drugs to Jesse Hudspath, 26, of Unity who then supplied Mundorff and Blystone with the fatal doses of heroin, according to prosecutors.
Hudspath, who is white, was also charged with two counts of drug delivery resulting in death and testified against Brown at his preliminary hearing last year.
A transcript of that hearing was given to the judge on Monday. She said she will rule on Brown’s pretrial request after reviewing written legal arguments that will be filed over the next month.
Brown, meanwhile, remains free on bond pending the disposition of his case. He was freed last month after the judge ruled his case had been pending too long.