MADISON COUNTY WOMAN INDICTED IN CONNECTION WITH HEROIN DRUG OVERDOSE DEATH FOR SELLING THE DRUGS THAT CAUSED THE OVERDOSE; NEW FOCUS ANNOUNCED ON HEROIN OVERDOSE DEATHS
Posted on 8/27/2015
Defendant: Jamie Nichole Maynard
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announces that the Franklin County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Jamie Nichole Maynard, age 26, for two counts of Involuntary Manslaughter (F-1), one count of Corrupting Another With Drugs (F-2), and one count of Trafficking in Heroin (F-4), for a total of four counts. It is alleged that on April 27th, Maynard met Courtney A. Penix, age 24, at the Westpointe Plaza Shopping Center on the west side of Columbus, where she sold heroin to Penix. Approximately an hour later, Penix died from a heroin overdose. “If found guilty on these charges, Maynard faces a maximum incarceration of 19 years,” O’Brien stated.
Sheriff Zach Scott and Prosecutor Ron O’Brien recently met to discuss a method to intensively investigate drug overdose deaths particularly due to heroin.
As a result, the Sheriff has assigned two detectives who will investigate drug overdose deaths immediately after the body is discovered and attempt to identify the source of the drug. Cell phones of the deceased, for example, will be seized and searched to identify recent contacts from whom the drugs may have been purchased, and surveillance cameras in an area will be reviewed – all with the goal of identifying the seller of the drugs – primarily heroin – that is the source of the soaring heroin overdose death rate in central Ohio. Once underway, it is the hope this effort can be expanded.
The indictment of Jamie Maynard is the first in a series of those kinds of indictments. Here both cell phones and surveillance footage establish the sale of drugs by Maynard to Courtney Penix at the Walmart at the Westpointe Plaza Shopping Center, and shortly thereafter the discovery of Penix’s body in a restroom at the Meijer in the same area only an hour later, dead from a heroin overdose.
O’Brien said that heroin death task forces in other cities across the country have helped identify offenders with the hope of reducing these deaths.
Scott has assigned two deputies to this project and O’Brien designated one prosecutor in his drug unit who will be part of the project.