For at least the fifth time in the past 18 months, a local resident faces a second-degree murder charge for providing drugs which led to an overdose death.
Anna Marie Blair, 28, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and delivery of fentanyl.
According to the indictment for Blair’s arrest, she distributed fentanyl to a man last September and that fentanyl was the cause of his death. The charge is a Class A felony.
“It’s sad because it seems like every week we have another overdose death,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “Some weeks we don’t have an overdose death and other weeks we have two or three. It’s a big problem in our community. There will be more second-degree murder charges to come. I have a stack of files waiting for autopsy results to return.”
Zavogiannis said the drug use in Warren County has shifted. Law enforcement officials are still seeing a large number of meth cases, but use of heroin and fentanyl have soared, she said.
The first time local prosecutors filed second-degree murder charges against a defendant for providing the drugs which led to an overdose death was in March 2020. Lisa Ann Pease Roach, 45, was the landmark case. In studying indictments since that time, the Standard has found at least four other people have been charged with second-degree murder due to an overdose death.
So far none of the cases have been resolved by plea arrangement, or by going to trial.
“We’ll have to wait and see what a jury will do,” said Zavogiannis. “State law supports the charge, but you never know what a jury will think. We haven’t tried a case like this yet. COVID is partly to blame for the delays in the court system.”