Dealer found guilty of selling deadly batch of fentanyl, heroin mix to overdose victim.
After more than five hours of deliberations, jurors found drug dealer Dylan Blair, 23, of Saltsburg, Indiana, guilty of a felony count of drug delivery resulting in death of 38-year-old mother Michelle Spillar. Spillar was found dead of an overdose in a Derry home the day after Christmas a little over three years ago. She left behind three adult sons.
“We’re pleased with the verdict and believe the victim’s sons will take comfort in the jury’s verdict,” said Assistant District Attorney Jim Lazar. “This case is all about addiction. To feed it, individuals will do what they can instead of spending time with their families on a special day.”
Blair will remain behind bars as he awaits sentencing to be determined by Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani. He is facing up to two decades in prison. Blair will ask that he be sentenced under state guidelines to five years.
Prosecutors said, “Blair sold Spillar the fatal doses of drugs on Christmas Eve. An eyewitness to the sale was a friend of one of Spillar’s sons and watched as she paid Blair for what he believed to be drugs similar to what he had bought for himself hours earlier.”
Tyler Klapchar, 25, said 11 packets of what he believed to be heroin were taken from the same dealer for $100, a Christmas gift from his grandmother. They were stamped with “Head Games” and included a picture of a skull and soccer ball. One empty and two full stamp bags with the same markings were discovered near Spillar’s body.
“He took the same drugs she did, and he overdosed two times. The only difference is he had people with him, and she didn’t,” prosecutors argued. Blair did not testify in his own defense. Rather, the defense argued the case against the defendant was based on faulty police work, and Klapchar was an unreliable witness who lied during his testimony in exchange to have pending drug and theft charges dismissed.
The defense also contended Spillar died from a mix of drugs. Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht testified small amounts of a prescription anti-depressant as well as Tylenol and Benadryl were found in Spillar’s blood during her autopsy in addition to the fentanyl. Defense attorney Emily Smarto told jurors, given the mix off drugs in Spillar’s system, “This prosecution lacks evidence. This prosecution can’t stand.”
“None of the other drugs could have caused Spillar’s death,” Wecht said to the contrary. “I believe Ms. Spillar died as a result of fentanyl even in the absence of all the other drugs. She would not have died with the absence of fentanyl.”
Ayla Binion, 28, also said she was with Blair, 21, at a Saltsburg apartment when he received a telephone call from Westmoreland County Detective Randy Gardner informing him that he likely would be charged as the dealer of the fatal batch of heroin. “There were a lot of people there when he got the call, and when he got off the phone he told us they were going to charge him for selling the drugs to a lady who had died,” Binion testified. “He said, ‘I hope I don’t get a murder charge.’”