CANANDAIGUA — Nearly a year after a Gorham man died of a drug overdose, another man has admitted selling the drugs that killed him.
Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts said Donald Everson, of Gorham, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree manslaughter and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance in the Oct. 30, 2018 death of Justin Meath.
Everson, 29, will be sentenced Monday by Judge Brian Dennis to 3 to 9 years in prison.
Sheriff's deputies found the 31-year-old Meath unresponsive in his home last October. He was later pronounced dead at Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua.
During an investigation, police learned Everson sold drugs to Meath and another person just before Meath overdosed. The other person, who was not identified, also overdosed but was revived with Narcan.
Efforts by deputies and ambulance personnel to revive Meath were unsuccessful.
Sheriff Kevin Henderson said through more investigation and lab results, police determined Everson sold fentanyl. Meath’s cause of death was ruled a fentanyl overdose.
The investigation was turned over to the district attorney’s office and Ritts presented the case to a county grand jury, which indicted Everson on the manslaughter charge as well as two counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
“When the investigation was done, we felt it warranted an aggressive prosecution,” Ritts said.
“The message that is being sent is that we are going to aggressively investigate these cases, and if we tie the dealer to a death, we will present it to the district attorney for further prosecution,” Henderson added.