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Posted on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Man charged with providing heroin that caused overdose death returns to court next week

By Kyle Feldscher

The Pittsfield Township man accused of supplying the heroin that caused a 23-year-old woman to die in August will return to court next week for a preliminary exam.


Heroin usage has become a prevalent, and deadly, force all around Washtenaw County, police say.

Jackson Citizen Patriot photo

Raymond Bowman, 22, is charged with one count each of delivery of a controlled substance causing death and delivery/manufacture of heroin less than 50 grams, according to court records. Bowman is accused of supplying the heroin that caused 23-year-old Stephanie Gedert to overdose and die on Aug. 25, 2011, said Pittsfield Township Deputy Police Chief Gordy Schick.

Court officials said Bowman’s preliminary exam Tuesday morning was adjourned until 8:30 a.m. April 24.

If convicted, Bowman faces up to life in prison for the charge of delivering a controlled substance causing death and up to 20 years in prison for delivery of heroin under 50 grams, said Washtenaw County Chief Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Steve Hiller.

“When you have somebody who is trying to improve their life and get their life straightened out and someone comes in and sells them more drugs, it turns out to be a very sad story,” Schick said.

A housekeeper found Gedert dead in a hotel room on Aug. 25, 2011, at the Days Inn, 2380 Carpenter Road, Schick said. It was determined she died of a heroin overdose

Police were notified and went to the hotel and began an investigation that resulted in Bowman being arraigned on the charges on April 4.

Bowman is held in the Washtenaw County Jail on a $25,000 cash or surety bond, jail records indicate. He’s also facing charges of second-degree home invasion, receiving and concealing stolen property worth more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 and larceny of a firearm in an unrelated case, court records show.

Attempts to reach Gedert’s parents Tuesday were not successful.

Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Christopher Renna, who represents Bowman, declined to comment for this story.

The charge is a rare one stemming from a heroin problem that’s becoming all too familiar in Washtenaw County. Police from around the county report heroin-related crimes are up and the drug has become one of the most prevalent narcotics in the area.

Schick said police have investigated three heroin-related deaths in Pittsfield Township during the last calendar year. That’s 60 percent of all drug-related deaths and about 8 percent of all deaths investigated by police during that time frame, he said.

In a case like this, Schick said investigators work with the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death and investigate the scene, which will often have clues such as syringes or other drug paraphernalia. Detectives do hours of interviews in order to determine a timeline of events leading up to a person’s death to figure out whom the person was with, what he or she was doing and where. Such information can sometimes lead to a rare charge being filed.

“We absorb a lot of resources trying to determine that (a crime has been committed),” he said. “It takes a lot of hours.”

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

Larry, I am very sorry for your loss. It must have been so hard to know she was trying to change and then have this happen. I hope this person is put away so he can't hurt anyone else's daughter. I pray peace for you and your family.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

Joes run off to fire lake....


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

this is very painful for me I miss my daughter greatly it gets worse reading this article "Attempts to reach Gedert's parents Tuesday were not successful." Really I never got a phone call or a message!! I am her parent.

Laura Schaffer

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

Interestingly another girl from what I understand died of a herion overdose at the same hotel on 9/9/11.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I was an aquaintance of Stephanie's and she is missed. We do have a heroin/major drug problem in Washtenaw County as a whole and a clear message needs to be sent to the dealers that this will not be tolerated. The drug problem in our country is out of control and I can only hope and pray to God that as a population and with the help of our government (local, state and federal) we can find a way to stop this insanity.

Basic Bob

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Heroin dealing is not the problem. Heroin using is the problem. The solution is treatment and recovery programs. The government helps greatly by paying the costs for people to enter treatment programs. In many cases, the government is only willing to help once a person enters the court system. Those who end up in the morgue first are not so lucky.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 6:32 a.m.

Heroin is a chic drug, getting popular with today's youth again like it has done on and off for decades. I personally think it is a big problem, hopefully we can keep this stuff off the streets.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 5:09 a.m.

"Attempts to reach Gedert's parents Tuesday were not successful." Some of the most immoral and irresponsible journalism that I've ever encountered -- what purpose does that serve? You're harassing the parents that will far outlive their child ON THE TOPIC OF HER DEATH. I'd be furious if I had an advertisement next to this story.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 5:10 a.m.

and the simple fact that you published this line is equally gross.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 11 p.m.

As usual, the unevenly enforced "conversation guidelines" prevent any suggestion that the girl had any involvement in her own demise.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

"When you have somebody who is trying to improve their life and get their life straightened out and they buy more drugs, it turns out to be a very sad story," Schick didn't say.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

Same charges for M.D.s, pharmacists? 100,000 Americans Die Each Year from Prescription Drugs, While Pharma Companies Get Rich Prescription drugs taken as directed kill 100,000 Americans a year. That's one person every five minutes.,000_americans_die_each_year_from_prescription_drugs,_while_pharma_companies_get_rich/


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

Many towns in the area have a problem with Heroin but keep it quiet. Parents don't know because the deaths are not reported as news and obits don't say Heroin OD. Heroin intervention episode of a Saline girl, heartbreaking poem online in memory of a dead Saline girl(OD),possesion arrests in our local paper and two young locals dead from Heroin OD in recent months. Yet nobody would say Saline has a problem. Silence is NOT golden. According to the intervention show and the poem, the kids drove to Detroit to get the drugs.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

Ninety percent of world production of opium, the feedstock of heroin, comes from a single country. The US should establish some kind of military presence in that country to counter the production. Wait, wait ..... the country is Afghanistan and we have had some kind of military presence in that country for nearly a decade. So why is Afghanistan still producing 90 percent of the world's opium?


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Kind of makes you wonder where the profits are going. After all, Reagan sold guns to Iran to finance his illegal war in Central America. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to discover that drug money goes to fund other unsavory activities of the government that they don't want a Congressional budget committee to notice.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

Funny you mention this. I've studied drug history and noticed a correlation between countries/ethnic groups that the general U.S. population doesn't like, and the laws enacted surrounding the drugs associated with these countries/groups. China = Opium, Mexicans = Marijuana, Black People = Crack Cocaine. With racial tension came strict laws enacted against these drugs (notice that the penalties are way more severe for crack than for powder cocaine, which was/is seen as a "white man"'s drug). So I began noticing the racial tension aimed towards Middle Eastern immigrants/descendents and the increase in opiate abuse...wondering when the legislation will follow.

Basic Bob

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

We deposed the government that was fighting the opium producers.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

"Police from around the county (Washtenaw) report heroin-related crimes are up and the drug has become one of the most prevalent narcotics in the area." I've heard anecdotally that many young people in this area are using/abusing heroin and addiction is a growing problem. I would like to report on that because Ann Arbor doesn't seem like the kind of place where young heroin addicts live.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Aaand another classmate from Pinckney overdosed yesterday. THAT often!


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Philly, I agree a report would be nice - Livingston County has also seen an extremely dramatic increase in heroin use and deaths. I'm from Pinckney, living in Ypsilanti now. It has gotten to the point now that if someone in Pinckney under the age of 40 dies, it is almost assumed to be a heroin overdose.

Basic Bob

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

"Ann Arbor doesn't seem like the kind of place where young heroin addicts live" You think heroin addicts wouldn't commute to Detroit? Or that they wouldn't make it back?

Ron Granger

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Heroin is big business. It is marketed...... for PROFIT. These days, a lot of heroin is snorted. That's how they hook people, and kids. The adicts then move on to injection. It is a scurge that destroys lives. It isn't cool, it isn't fashionable. Those who market, traffic and deal it must be held accountable.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

C'mon people, where's the hue and cry for legalization? All issues are cured by deregulation and legalization these days.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

You're being sarcastic, but many cities and countries have improved their heroin problems by decriminalizing it, or providing safe equipment and medical supervision for injection users.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

You know the difference between a BB gun and a AK-47 right?

Berda Green

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.



Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Rich Kinsey's column in today's opinion explains this drugs problem quite well. In Viet Nam we brought home a lot of addicted heroin users. Nobody knows the quality nor the ingredients of what they are using. All they know is that stopping seems impossible. I lost a few friend back in the 70's to this drug, most of them veterans. Good police work.