Ashtabula woman indicted in overdose death

Heather Harless 

JEFFERSON — An Ashtabula woman now faces involuntary manslaughter charges for reportedly supplying the fentanyl that caused a fatal overdose in June.

Heather L. Harless, 37, of 1645 W. Fifth St., Ashtabula, was indicted by the county grand jury on three first-degree felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, one second-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs, two fourth-degree felony counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs and one fifth-degree felony count of trafficking in heroin.

Harless reportedly provided a substance containing heroin and fentanyl to 32-year-old Keri A. Vickery, a county resident, who overdosed on June 1 in Harpersfield Township, according to the indictment.

Vickery was transported to UH Geneva Medical Center, where she died later that day, according to the indictment.

"The Ashtabula County coroner ruled the victim died as a result of a fentanyl overdose and this overdose death as a homicide," Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci said.

The Ashtabula County Sheriff's Department investigated the overdose death and referred the matter to the Heroin Overdose Task Force.

"As a result of the Sheriff's Department and Task Force investigation, it was determined that Ms. Harless supplied the drugs to the victim shortly prior to the overdose and that resulted in her death," Iarocci said. "Ms. Harless was interviewed by law enforcement subsequent to the overdose death, and we believe we have an admission from Ms. Harless that she supplied the drugs to the victim that led to her death."

A court date has not been set yet, according to Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court records.

According to the prosecutors office, there have been seven involuntary manslaughter or corrupting another with drugs convictions in Ashtabula County since the opiate epidemic started:

• Audrey M. McConkey, 2016, eight years prison

• Shawnna N. Spurlock, 2016, four years

• Marisa A. Leffel, 2017, 10 years

• Jamie L. Clay, 2017, six years

• John N. Nosse III, 2017, seven years

• Victor G. Casbohm, 2017, four years

• Karen M. Tackett, 2018, nine years 

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