A 39-year-old Centralia woman has pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance in exchange for having a Class X drug-induced homicide charge dropped against her.
Jeri Carpenter of Melrose Drive was sentenced to four years probation and given credit for time served in the Marion County Jail since she was taken into custody on the drug-induced homicide charge last December. Carpenter had been accused of providing the heroin mixed with fentanyl to 36-year-old Mathew Proksha of Centralia, leading to his overdose death on September 7th of last year.
Carpenter agreed to testify truthfully against Mantez Duncan of Centralia if he is ever brought up on drug-induced homicide charges for allegedly selling the heroin to Carpenter. State’s Attorney Bill Milner told WJBD/WSIQ after the Tuesday morning plea agreement that the drug-induced homicide charge is a possibility against Duncan. Duncan is currently being held as one of five defendants in a Central City murder case. He is currently set for trial on two counts of felony murder on August 10th.
Judge Marc Kelly noted in accepting the plea agreement that he is aware of the concern if the drug homicide charge may not apply in Carpenter’s case because the two were using the drugs together.
The plea agreement comes following a lengthy hearing last week where Public Defender Craig Griffin attempted unsuccessfully to get Carpenter’s arrest on the drug-induced homicide charge thrown out.
The additional count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance was filed Wednesday morning before Carpenter was brought to court where the plea agreement was announced.
As part of the sentence, Carpenter was also ordered to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation and any recommended treatment and to complete a job search. She is due back in court on August 28th for a status hearing on the success of her job search.