BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A grand jury indicted Jon Herrle, 55, of the Town of Tonawanda, Friday, on charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and the illegal sale of a controlled substance, in the wake of a fatal opioid overdose on September 25, 2016.
Prosecutors said Herrle crushed oxymorphone pills–an opiate–passed the powder off as cocaine to a female companion, who they said was already extremely intoxicated. Assistant Erie County District Attorney Nick Texido told an Erie County judge, the 38 year old woman snorted the powder, overdosed and died.
Rather seeking medical assistance for his friend, prosecutors said Herrle fled the scene and called another friend to check on the woman, knowing she was already dead.
Herrle’s attorney George Faust asked Judge Kenneth Case for a reasonable bail, “There’s a lot of conflicting and confusing circumstances. There was no intention to harm anyone,” and offered Herrle’s home as bail.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, said Herrle’s indictment was the first prosecution of its kind in Erie County, targeting the purveyor of a fatal overdose.
“He knew this woman, they had a relationship, he gave it to her, and she subsequently died. Let this case, though, send a message to every drug dealer in this town and this county: If you sell drugs to someone, and they die of an overdose, I am going after you.”
Prosecutors argued against bail, telling Judge Case this was the second woman to die of a drug overdose at Herrle’s home in two years, and Judge Case ordered Herrle held without bail.
All three criminal counts in the indictment are felonies, and attorneys say if convicted, Herrle could face up to 15 years in prison.