Alleged drug dealer charged in Hamilton woman’s overdose death

1:44 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 Butler County

A Hamilton man is charged with involuntary manslaughter and drug charges for allegedly furnishing drugs to a woman who died of an overdose, according to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.

John Bradley Smith, 40, of the 700 block of Gordon Smith Boulevard, allegedly caused the death of Elizabeth Spicer on or about March 2 by furnishing her with a number of drugs, including heroin. He is housed in the Butler County Jail.

Spicer, 26, also of the 700 block of Gordon Smith Boulevard, died at Fort Hamilton Hospital on Feb. 27, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Spicer’s cause of death was toxicity due to multiple drugs.

Smith was also indicted on charges of corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in heroin, both felonies.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said it can be difficult to get enough evidence to directly tie the dealer to a person who fatally overdosed and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

“But just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to do it,” Gmoser said.

He said Smith was the supplier who “ultimately killed the purchaser.”

“These cases are based on circumstantial evidence often from a group of individuals that have compromised credibility,” Gmoser said. “But if I think I can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, we are going to take it to grand jury. I want the drug dealers to know when they are out there dealing, I am looking at you.”

Gmoser said it is the second such case in the county that he recalls involving an alleged dealer and a lethal overdose.

View full experience