Second plea in fentanyl-laced heroin death

Becky Campbell • Nov 13, 2019 at 8:40 PM

A second person pleaded guilty in Washington County Criminal Court Wednesday in a drug overdose death involving heroin laced with fentanyl.

Darlicia Jordan and Tasha Williams were arrested in March after a Washington County grand jury returned indictments charging them with second-degree murder in the death of Matthew Buckingham, a local real estate agent.

Buckingham, 30, died Nov. 29, 2017, after he injected heroin investigators and prosecutors believe he obtained from Williams and Jordan. According to toxicology test results, the heroin also had fentanyl in it. 

Jordan pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless homicide, but agreed to a sentence higher than the court could have imposed. Jordan’s attorney, Nikki Himebaugh was able to get the charge reduced, saving her client from a potential 15- to 25-year prison term, to 10 years. Jordan is eligible for alternative sentencing, so she will return for a sentencing hearing in January.

Two drug charges — sale of and delivery of heroin — were dismissed. Also as part of her plea, Jordan had agreed to be a state witness if necessary, but her co-defendant already pleaded guilty last month.

Williams pleaded guilty in October to reckless homicide and also agreed to a sentence far outside her true sentencing range. Williams, who had no prior criminal convictions, only faced two to eight years in prison, but agreed to a 15-year sentence to avoid trial.

She will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent of the sentence, but there is no guarantee the parole board will grant her release at that time.

According to District Attorney General Ken Baldwin, Buckingham had an electronic conversation with Williams about getting some heroin, but she was out of town. Apparently, Williams arranged for Buckingham to pick up the drugs from Jordan, who went to Williams’ residence to get the heroin.


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