Dallas Man Admits Role in March 2014 Heroin Overdose Death of Dallas Teenager
DALLAS—A 28-year-old Dallas man appeared in federal court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Horan and pleaded guilty to a felony drug offense stemming from his role in the March 2014 heroin overdose death of a Dallas teenage girl, Rian Hannah Lashley, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Glen William Brunton, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. Brunton is the second of four defendants charged in the case to plead guilty. In March, Cierra Allyn Rounds, 27, pleaded guilty to the same offense. Brunton is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay on October 5, 2015; Rounds is set for sentencing on September 8, 2015. Both remain in federal custody.
“The statistics are staggering—in 2013 more than 680,000 Americans used heroin; more than 8,200 Americans died of a heroin overdose; and more than 160,000 Americans tried heroin for the first time, including more than 20,000 children between ages 12 and 17,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Parker. “That’s why, in an effort to develop a coordinated response to this crisis, the Department of Justice created the Attorney General’s Heroin Task Force to bring together experts from law enforcement, medicine, public health, and education to create a strategic plan outlining national, regional and local efforts to reduce both the supply and demand for heroin,” Parker continued.
The two other defendants charged in the case, Kathryn Grace Dirks, a/k/a “Kat,” 25, and Jimison Erik Coleman, a/k/a “Jaymo,” 36, are each charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin; one count of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, the use of said substance resulting in the death and serious bodily injury of Rian Hannah Lashley; and one count of distribution of heroin, the use of said substance resulting in the death and serious bodily injury of Rian Hannah Lashley. Both Dirks and Coleman were arrested in California and remain in federal custody. Their trial date has not yet been set.
According to documents filed in the case, during the early morning hours of March 25, 2014, Brunton and Rounds traveled from a residence in Dallas to an IHOP restaurant in Plano, Texas. After arriving at the restaurant, Brunton and Rounds joined co-defendants Dirks and Coleman (a local heroin distributor who was involved with Dirks) and Lashley at a booth, and the group ate breakfast together. While sitting in the booth, Rounds and the others became aware that Lashley possessed a large sum of money, approximately $3,000, a cell phone and an iPad.
Brunton and Rounds admitted that later that morning, in the IHOP parking lot, Coleman gave Brunton five baggies of “China White” heroin and directed him to deliver it to Dirks, who was with Lashley and Rounds in Lashley’s vehicle in a nearby parking lot. At Coleman’s direction, Brunton distributed the heroin to Dirks in exchange for $100 cash that he subsequently turned over to Coleman. After acquiring the heroin, Rounds, Dirks and Lashley left the parking lot in Lashley’s vehicle and traveled to a residence in Dallas where Rounds was living. Brunton and Coleman departed the IHOP’s parking lot in a separate vehicle.
According to Brunton’s filed plea documents, the parties stipulate that Brunton’s role in the offense is minor, as defined in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
While traveling to the Dallas residence, Rounds used Lashley’s cell phone to send a series of text messages to Coleman, including their proximity to the residence and a text message advising Coleman that “…I figured ud want me on this money.” Rounds admitted that when she sent this message to Coleman she was notifying him that she understood that she was to attempt to steal the money Lashley possessed and turn it over to him. As Rounds and the others arrived at the Dallas residence, Rounds sent another text message to Coleman asking if she should take Lashley and Dirks inside. Coleman responded with a text message that read, “Don’t leave don’t let them leave.” Rounds understood the message to mean to take Lashley into the residence and to keep her there.
Once inside the residence, Rounds and Dirks, aided and abetted by each other, and at Lashley’s request, took possession of the heroin that was originally supplied by Coleman and used a syringe to inject heroin into Lashley three times. Shortly before those heroin injections were administered, Rounds sent a text message to Coleman stating “…ima bout to shoot her up for her first time.” Rounds admitted that she hoped the heroin injection would incapacitate Lashley in such a way to allow Rounds to steal the money that Lashley possessed.
According to an affidavit in Coleman’s case, Dirks turned over a portion or all of Lashley’s money to Coleman later that evening at a hotel in Dallas.
Later that afternoon, Lashley began showing signs of distress, and Rounds and Dirks placed Lashley in a bathtub of ice water in an attempt to reverse the effects of the heroin. After Lashley was removed from the tub, Lashley was placed on a couch and appeared to go to sleep.
Lashley died later that evening as a direct result of the heroin that was administered to her. An autopsy performed at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences on March 26, 2014, concluded that Lashley died as a result of the toxic effects of heroin.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.
The Dallas Police Department, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Buena Park Police Department are investigating. Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert and Assistant U.S. Attorney Phelesa Guy are prosecuting.