State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Man Gets Prison Sentence in Fatal Drug Overdose

by on December 16, 2014 11:55 AM

The man who prosecutors say supplied drugs that led to a fatal overdose has been sentenced to four to 13 years in state prison.

Ryan Kemp, 28, of Pennsylvania Furnace was convicted on multiple charges in October, including drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of a controlled substance.

Twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth Smeltzer was found dead at Kemp's home on Fairbrook Drive in Ferguson Township on Jan. 25.

Investigators say she died from a fatal combination of heroin and clonazepam.

According to a news release from the Centre County District Attorney's office, Kemp sold the drugs to Smeltzer even though he knew it was dangerous to combine the two drugs.

He reportedly told police that at some point the victim "started to become incoherent and he had to bring her back out of it." In the morning Smeltzer was found dead on a couch. Kemp reportedly told police that he knew it was his "dope" that killed her.

Prosecutors claim Kemp himself had overdosed and almost died a year earlier and had been on probation for a drug paraphernalia charge. Kemp's probation reportedly ended on the very day he sold the drugs that resulted in Smeltzer's death. Police say two other people confirmed that Kemp sold them heroin several times.

The DA's office asked for a lengthy sentence, citing the availability of "extensive drug treatment programs available in a State Correctional Facility."

In a statement, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller says, "This defendant was well aware of the dangers that come hand in hand [with] the deadly cocktail he assembled, but he chose to ignore the risks to life and sell it anyway. For that, he bears responsibility."

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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