Jury deliberating heroin related death of Girard girl - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Jury deliberating heroin related death of Girard girl

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WARREN, Ohio - A jury is now deliberating in the case of James L. Patterson of Youngstown.

He's the man accused of providing the heroin that allegedly killed a 17-year-old Girard High School student.

April 6th, 2012 was Christine Sheesley's 17th birthday, and tragically the day the teenager died.

Trumbull County Prosecutors accuse Patterson of being the alleged drug dealer who supplied the fatal dose of heroin.

Closing arguments were held in the Trumbull County Court case, being heard before Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald Rice.

Patterson is facing eight criminal charges including: involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in heroin.

Prosecutors told the jury the victim decided she wanted to try heroin on the day she died, and went to the apartment of her friend Tyler Stevens who authorities said made it happen.

"What happened is that Tyler Stevens cooked up the heroin, pulled out a syringe, filled the syringe, and injected it in his arm. After he injected it in his arm, he filled that same syringe with another dose of heroin, and this time stuck it in Christine's arm," said Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor, Chuck Morrow.

Prosecutors accuse the defendant of delivering $50 worth of heroin to the apartment, and said the victim paid for it.

The defense argues Patterson was not even in the apartment when the victim tried heroin for the first, and last time. 

"I don't even know how the state intends to prove that he knew it, because there's no evidence that he knew of this," said Attorney Lanzo.

The Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office believes this is only the second time they've ever tried a case like this, attempting to hold the alleged supplier of the drugs responsible for a drug related death.

Tyler Stevens who testified for the prosecution has received a plea deal in exchange for his truthful testimony in the case. Stevens has already pleaded guilty to: involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, and permitting drug abuse. Prosecutors are expected to recommend that he spend five years in prison.

Patterson, who is also facing criminal charges in this trial related to another drug related incident last year -- could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

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