An Eastbrook man was indicted Thursday on a manslaughter charge in connection with a drug overdose death last fall.
Jaret Patten, 23, also was indicted by a Hancock County grand jury on a felony charge of unlawful furnishing of drugs and a misdemeanor charge of violating conditions of release.
The charges are connected with the death of Jessica Kane, 22, on Oct. 25. Kane died at her Shore Road home in Ellsworth after local police were called at 9 a.m. and told that she was unconscious and not breathing, Ellsworth police said at the time.
If convicted of manslaughter, Patten could face up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The drug furnishing charge, with a conviction, could result in a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Charging someone with manslaughter after they allegedly provided drugs to someone who later died as a result of an overdose is rare in Maine but not unprecedented.
In 2016, a Harrington man was charged with manslaughter and aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs for allegedly selling heroin to Brendon Bubar, 28, of Cherryfield, prior to Bubar dying of a heroin overdose at an Ellsworth motel, police have said.
A former Lubec man was acquitted of manslaughter in December 2014 but found guilty of aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug after he gave some Valium to his 12-year-old son, whose subsequent death was attributed to the boy’s diabetes. In 2002, two Portland residents were charged in separate incidents of giving drugs to people who later died as a result.
In one of those two 2002 cases the defendant was found guilty of the lesser charge of furnishing, while in the other case the defendant pleaded guilty and was the first person in Maine to be convicted of manslaughter in connection with an overdose death.