Thu. 3:48pm: Man linked to drug death turns down plea deal

WARREN – A 28-year-old Youngstown man, whose eight-count indictment links him to the drug overdose death of a 17-year-old Girard High School student, turned down a plea deal offer today, setting the stage for a trial beginning Monday.

Jury selection will get under way in the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice, who along with assistant county prosecutor Charles Morrow reminded James Lamar Patterson that the offer was off the table as of today.

Patterson, also known as “Fresh,” of Division Street, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of corrupting another with drugs, three counts of trafficking heroin, two of them with forfeiture proceedings, possession of cocaine with a forfeiture proceeding, and tampering with evidence.

He was indicted last September in the April 6, 2012, heroin overdose of Christine M. Sheesley, a junior at Girard High, whose death was ruled an accidental drug overdose, the result of heroin intoxication, according to the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office.