This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Tim Hahn on August 12, 2017
Erie County drug investigators have charged an Erie man with causing the death of a man by supplying the drugs the victim overdosed on in June.
Damon D. Henderson, 27, was arraigned by Erie 2nd Ward District Judge Paul Urbaniak Friday morning on charges including drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and criminal use of a communication facility in the death of the 56-year-old man, who was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot on June 16 after Millcreek Township police found the victim in cardiac arrest at a township residence on the late evening of June 15.
Investigators with the Erie County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force said their investigation determined that the victim purchased heroin/fentanyl and cocaine from Henderson on the early afternoon of June 15, when the victim and another person traveled to a convenience store on Erie’s east side, the victim went behind the store and returned a short time later with the drugs, according to information in the criminal complaint.
Investigators checked the victim’s cellphone and viewed text messages between the victim and someone known as “Dd” with references of the victim purchasing drugs. Police traced the phone number the victim had contacted to Henderson, and learned that his residence in the 900 block of East Eighth Street is located close to the convenience store, according to information in the affidavit of probable cause filed with the complaint.
Investigators used the victim’s cellphone to set up a drug purchase from Henderson on June 20. Henderson was taken into custody from his residence. Henderson was seen throwing items to the ground, and the items field-tested positive for controlled substances, according to the affidavit. Investigators said they obtained a search warrant for Henderson’s residence and found baggies containing suspected heroin and suspected cocaine, as well as suspected drug paraphernalia, four guns and cash.
Henderson was initially charged in late June with drug offenses related to the attempted delivery of the drugs on June 20 and the search of his residence. Henderson was free on $200,000 bail and had appeared before Urbaniak in Erie County Central Court for his preliminary hearing in the case on Friday morning when prosecutors withdrew the initial set of charges and he was arraigned on the new charges.
Urbaniak set Henderson’s bond at $500,000 following the arraignment.
Also arraigned by Urbaniak Friday morning was Lacey L. Carnes, 33, whom investigators said lives with Henderson at the East Eighth Street residence. She was charged with conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of children.
Investigators charge that Lacey and two small children were found in the residence when it was searched, and that some of the seized drugs were in open baggies in an open area accessible to the children. Some drugs were also inside a child’s dresser drawer, which was filled with children’s clothing, investigators wrote in the affidavit filed with the complaint against Carnes.
Carnes was placed in prison on $100,000 bond after her arraignment.