Dallas man pleads guilty in woman’s fatal overdose

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Haines -

WILKES-BARRE — A Dallas man accused of giving drugs to a woman who died after overdosing pleaded guilty this week.

David Haines, 31, entered the plea on counts of drug delivery resulting in death and tampering with evidence.

Other charges related to the case were withdrawn by prosecutors.

Haines was accused of supplying Gale Avery with heroin laced with fentanyl in June 2017.

According to the original complaint, police responded to a Poplar Street home in Dallas Township on June 19, 2017, for reports of an unresponsive female, who was later identified as Avery.

She was declared dead less than an hour later by a deputy coroner.

Haines, who lived in the home, allegedly admitted to buying the heroin that killed Avery. Court papers say he told police: “I knew it had fentanyl in it because I tasted it, and it had that fentanyl (expletive) taste to it.”

Haines initially entered a plea of not guilty in county court last November.

He also allegedly told police that he discarded some evidence.

On Monday, Haines also pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of DUI and possession of a controlled substance.

A sentencing date for Haines will not be set until June 22, court records show.

Haines was only the third person in county history to be charged under a law change that makes it easier for prosecutors to go after alleged suppliers in fatal overdoses.

Eric Scott Malia and Joan Rosengrant, both of Wilkes-Barre, were charged in April 2017, marking the first arrests of their kind in county history. They were accused in the January 2017 overdose of Michael Gumaer.

Rosengrant died in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility last July.

Malia, meanwhile, is scheduled for trial Sept. 10.


By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan