Skowhegan man pleads not guilty in drug overdose death case

By Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal
Posted July 28, 2013, at 6:14 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Skowhegan man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges in connection to a drug overdose death in Farmington on Nov. 11, 2012. Justice Michaela Murphy added as a condition of his release that he follow a curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., except for employment.

Eric Barnes, 28, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of unlawful furnishing of a scheduled drug and a misdemeanor charge of falsifying physical evidence in Franklin County Superior Court.

Barnes is one of five co-defendants Farmington police arrested on Feb. 14 in connection to the death of Marilyn Rider, 52. Police found her dead at her residence at 103 Silver Maple Lane in November, a day after a birthday party.

Barnes’ attorney David Sanders requested he be released on a pretrial service agreement. He has a sponsor and is expected to live with his mother when he gets out.

Barnes recently has spent 43 days in substance abuse rehabilitation at St. Francis House in Auburn after he previously violated conditions of release, Barnes told the court.

Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said he was a bit concerned over the bail request. When Barnes was arrested in March on a violation, he was in possession of two used needles and 1.2 grams of marijuana. He was prohibited from possession or use of illegal drugs when he was released in connection with drug overdose case.

When he was arrested in March, Barnes admitted to police that he was using needles to “inject an upper,” Andrews said. That is why he was sent to in-house drug counseling, he said.

The justice approved release on a pretrial agreement and set a curfew. It was initially going to be 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., but Barnes asked that it be 9 p.m. so he could continue attending meetings in Auburn.

Barnes is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 30 along with other co-defendants. It is expected that either a doctor or a report from a doctor will tell the court what role morphine played in the overdose death.

Terry Oliver, 54, of Wilton pleaded guilty to selling morphine pills in connection to the drug overdose that led to the death of Rider in May. She is in jail awaiting sentencing. She faces up to 10 years of prison on the drug charge.

Roy Gordon, 42, of Wilton, Rider’s boyfriend, was indicted earlier this year on one felony count of unlawful furnishing of a scheduled drug. A conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Gordon’s son, Seth Gordon, 23, of Wilton was indicted on a felony count of unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs.

Scott Kidder, 32, of Wilton pleaded guilty in March in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington to furnishing morphine. He received a three-year suspended sentence and two years of probation.

Assistant District Attorney James Andrews previously said a court document stated that co-defendants Roy Gordon and Kidder bought morphine pills from Oliver and Gordon admitted giving some of them to Rider, who injected herself with them.

The document also stated that Gordon’s son, Seth Gordon, told police that all of Rider’s doses were drawn up by Roy Gordon, Andrews had said.

Farmington police’s investigation revealed information about the source of the morphine and drug activity involving the five, Farmington police Chief Jack Peck previously said.

A Feb. 13 report by the state’s chief medical examiner concluded Rider died of a drug overdose.

According to court documents, on the day of Rider’s death, Roy Gordon couldn’t wake her and called his mother. Once she arrived, they called 911 to report Rider’s death.

Police obtained information from Rider’s son that the couple had used morphine the day before at Gordon’s birthday party in Wilton.

The son also told police that Gordon and Barnes cleaned the apartment after Gordon found Rider. They removed several needles from the apartment before police or the ambulance arrived, according to court documents.

Police were permitted to search Gordon’s mother’s car, in which they found the box containing needles, spoons and prescription medicine, as described by Rider’s son.

Police also learned Kidder was at the party and used morphine. The pills were taken intravenously.

Gordon and Kidder bought morphine pills from Terry Oliver on Nov. 10, police said.

In December, Oliver told police she had sold her prescription morphine, 112 30-milligram pills per month, for the past several months and before that, had sold her prescription oxycodone. Both drugs are addictive opiates.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/28/news/mid-maine/skowhegan-man-pleads-not-guilty-in-drug-overdose-death-case/ printed on September 22, 2014