By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A four-day jury trial for a Kosciusko County jail inmate who allegedly dealt narcotics to a male inmate who overdosed and died, is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, in Kosciusko Circuit Court.
Christopher Aaron Susaraba, 31, is charged with dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death, a level 1 felony; and trafficking with an inmate, a level 5 felony.
Susaraba’s trial was initially scheduled to begin in March. At that time, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Buehler requested the trial be continued in order for further evidence to be prepared.
This motion was denied; Buehler then made the motion to dismiss the criminal charges and re-file the same charges against Susaraba under a different case number. That motion was allowed.
If found guilty on the Level 1 charge, Susaraba could receive 20 to 40 years in prison. The advisory sentence is 30 years.
According to court documents, on March 9, 2019, KCJ officers responded to a report of an unresponsive inmate. Officers entered a cell block to find an inmate performing CPR on Dennis McCrory, 39, Michigan. The inmate told officers McCrory was overdosing on heroin.
Officers continued CPR until medical personnel arrived, performed CPR and administered Narcan with no success. McCrory was pronounced dead at the scene.
On March 11, 2019, a pathologist conducted an autopsy on McCrory and ruled the cause of death as acute mixed drug intoxication. A drug screen showed methamphetamine and narcotics were in McCrory’s body.
Several witnesses said Susaraba brought a large amount of heroin and methamphetamine into the jail. The witnesses said Susaraba was dealing heroin and methamphetamine to multiple inmates in exchange for money. Susaraba allegedly provided a large amount of methamphetamine and heroin to McCrory. McCrory used the drugs, became lethargic and eventually overdosed, causing death.