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