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Deerfield man may be charged in sale of fatal heroin dose
Joshua Leighton, 31, is currently being held on $100,000 bail stemming from his July 25 arrest for allegedly providing heroin that killed James O’Rourke, 29, of Deerfield.
Court documents indicate that Leighton will likely be indicted on a charge of sale of a controlled drug with death resulting in connection with O’Rourke’s death.
The charge carries a similar penalty to a second-degree murder conviction in New Hampshire. Leighton could face up to life in prison if he is convicted by a jury.
A grand jury indicted Leighton in May for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of heroin on Jan. 10.
Leighton wrote a letter to the woman “instructing her on what to say and requesting that she meet with him so they could make up a story,” an indictment says.
Judge Marguerite Wageling ordered prosecutors last week to make a plea offer to Leighton by Friday. But Leighton will have up to Dec. 5 to decide whether to plead guilty or move forward with a trial. The trial on the earlier set of charges is scheduled for the week of Dec. 16.
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