Grove City woman charged in man's overdose death

Carol Ann Seymour (Franklin County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Grove City woman is facing charges in another man's overdose death.

Carol Ann Seymour, 60, was indicted on several drug-related counts, including involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in heroin.

Prosecutors say on Jan. 10, she drove 37-year-old Robby Alsey to a drug deal she had arranged. After dropping him off again, Alsey later died.

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"If you’re selling drugs that cause somebody’s death, then it will be investigated as a crime and it will be prosecuted if we think we have the evidence to move forward. And now, law enforcement’s spending the time to collect evidence that enables us to go forward and we have been able in the last several years — in 29 cases — to do that," said Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O'Brien.

Seymour's case marked the 29th case since 2015, where a drug dealer was charged in connection with another person's overdose death.

The majority of the cases involved the highly-potent drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil. The sentences so far have ranged from two years to 15 years.

The case of that hefty 15-year sentence involved Rayshon Alexander. Back in 2017, he was convicted of selling animal tranquilizer that resulted in the deaths of two people.

"There was one man selling drugs out on Zettler Road two summers ago who actually, when he sold the drugs, warned the people to be careful because people were 'dropping out' on it, and that’s street language for killing themselves on the drug. And so, that indicated that he had knowledge that what he was selling was likely to cause people’s death," O'Brien said.

One of the key factors in being able to prosecute these cases is modern technology.

O'Brien estimates that, in at least two-thirds of those 29 cases, cell phones were used as evidence. He points out that nearly everyone has a cell phone these days and that they are almost always used to set up drug deals.

But it is not just about prosecuting people. O'Brien emphasizes that it was a two-prong effort when deciding to step up prosecution. The other prong was making sure to offer resources to survivors. And there are many more survivors now that Narcan is widely used.

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