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Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Man charged with selling drug in fatality

By Shelley Grieshop
A 59-year-old Celina man was indicted this week for illegally selling a prescription pain patch that authorities say led to the death of a Celina woman.
Phillip Roy Schmidt, 6301/2 E. Livingston St., was indicted Thursday by a Mercer County grand jury for supplying a Fentanyl patch to Brett Riley, 42, who allegedly shared it with his 36-year-old wife, Michelle, on June 9.
Michelle Riley subsequently died in the couple's home from an overdose, police say. The 13-count indictment against Schmidt states that he sold the drug to Brett Riley on the day Michelle Riley died.
Schmidt has been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of reckless homicide, three counts of corrupting another with drugs, two counts of drug trafficking and two counts of illegal possession of drugs.
Five of the indictment charges accuse Schmidt of selling the drug to Riley in the vicinity of a school. The amount of Fentanyl sold to Riley by Schmidt is considered small by legal standards and is described as "less than a bulk amount."
Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard he believes Brett Riley experimented with drugs before.
"There is nothing in the indictment to indicate that, but we don't believe Mr. Riley was a first-time drug abuser," he said, without further explanation.
Schmidt faces a maximum of 82 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He was taken into custody Friday morning and is being held at the Mercer County Jail. He is expected to appear in common pleas court for a hearing on Monday.
Brett Riley, 42, was indicted in June on six counts relating to the fatal incident. Those charges include involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, corrupting another with drugs, possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 17. A pretrial in that case is set for Wednesday.
The couple's two children found their mother deceased and their father unconscious in their home at 428 E. Livingston St. at 11:13 p.m., sometime after the parents reportedly chewed a portion of the patch to get high.
Brett Riley was initially hospitalized and treated for a drug overdose.
The children are being cared for by relatives, authorities said.
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