PIQUA — A Piqua resident is now facing charges in connection with the overdose death of Benjamin Jacomet, who died Jan. 3.
Ryan D. Sheppard, 42, of Piqua, was charged with first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter and fifth-degree felony trafficking in drugs on Wednesday evening. Sheppard’s arrest comes three days before what would have been Jacomet’s 35th birthday.
On March 12, a Wapakoneta woman, Karmen M. Heniser, was charged in connection with Jacomet’s death. Heniser, 30, was also charged with first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter and fifth-degree felony trafficking drugs.
“Generally speaking, this is just a continuation of our new strategy,” Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said, adding that this is the result of a full investigation of these unintentional deaths.
Jamison declined to comment on the specific details of these cases.
Sheppard and Heniser are accused of selling Jacomet the heroin that led to his death. According to Miami County Municipal Court records, messages on social media between Heniser and Jacomet reportedly reveal multiple drug buys being set up. Witnesses also reportedly saw Henhiser and Sheppard stop by briefly at Jacomet’s home the night of Jacomet’s death.
Jacomet’s postmortem examination was conducted by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and the report was received March 11. Court records state that Jacomet’s cause of death was Fentanyl and alcohol intoxication. The report states that the Fentanyl level within Jacomet’s system was 8.3 nanograms per milliliter of heart blood. Jacomet’s blood alcohol content was reportedly 0.198 gram +/- 0.024 gram. For comparison, it is illegal in Ohio to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above.
The Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory also analyzed a suspected heroin capsule collected from Jacomet’s room. According to court records, the report from the crime lab “stated that the contents of the capsule were tested and found to contain heroin and Fentanyl, having a gross weight of 0.12 grams +/- 0.01 grams.”
Fentanyl is a prescription narcotic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Fentanyl is estimated to be 80 times as potent as morphine and approximately 40 to 50 times more potent than 100 percent pure heroin.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that “Fentanyl injection is used to relieve severe pain during and after surgery.” It can also cause life-threatening respiratory distress when taken in high doses or mixed with other substances, such as alcohol. Jacomet was “consuming alcohol heavily” the night before his death, according to court records.
Both Sheppard and Heniser are currently being held at the Miami County Jail. Sheppard is being held on a total of $275,000 bond. Heniser is being held on a total of $125,000 bond.
Heniser’s case was bound over to Miami County Common Pleas Court. A preliminary hearing for Sheppard is scheduled for March 30.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall