Defendant Once Accused of Controlled Substance Homicide Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charges in Clark County Superior Court

Yesterday, it was reported in The Columbian by Paris Achen that a Vancouver woman once accused of homicide by delivery pleaded guilty to lesser charges including attempted delivery of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the article, the State encountered defects in the case with a witness who allegedly saw the defendant, Thomas, deliver the methamphetamine to John Cantwell, the decedent. Apparently, her credibility and possible mental health issues factored into the State’s decision to resolve the case pre-trial.

Under RCW 69.50.415 “Controlled Substances Homicide” (1) A person who unlawfully delivers a controlled substance in violation of RCW 69.50.401(2)(a),(b) or (c) which controlled substance is subsequently used by the person to whom it was delivered, resulting in the death of the user, is guilty of controlled substance homicide. (2) A controlled substances homicide is a Class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.

Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The minimum range for controlled substance homicide is 51-68 months.

However, as indicated in the article, the controlled substance homicide charge was dismissed by the State.  Thomas instead was charged with attempted delivery and other offenses.  Her sentencing was set over until Monday with a both sides agreeing to a recommendation of 400 days which the article indicates is the amount of time she served in jail while the case was pending.  To read the article in its entirety please click the following link.