Man pleads guilty in deaths of Middletown couple who died because of drugs

David Eugene Quinn

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David Eugene Quinn

A man indicted last summer for furnishing a Middletown couple with drugs that killed them pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter Thursday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

David Eugene Quinn, 41, of Young Street, was indicted June 16 by a Butler County grand jury for two counts of corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound in addition to the involuntary manslaughter charges. He was taking into custody two months later.

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Brandon McQueen, 38, and Rebecca McQueen, 42, were found dead Nov. 20, 2020, in their Auburn Street home by a family member, according to a Middletown Division of Police report. Drugs were found at the residence, including “four lines of a white powdery substance,” according to police.

Quinn was charged with supplying the drugs that resulted in their deaths.

At arraignment in August, Judge Keith Spaeth set a $100,000 bond for Quinn, who was scheduled to go to trial Monday. He has been in the Butler County Jail since his arrest.

Quinn plead guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges and two counts of corrupting another with drugs. The third charge of drug trafficking was dismissed. He faces a maximum of 26 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Feb. 24.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office ruled the McQueens died of toxicity from cocaine and fentanyl.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said a supplier being held accountable for a drug death is rare, mainly because it is difficult to get definitive evidence needed to prove a case.

“I have a directive out that we need to take a hard look at these cases,” Gmoser said, adding that he doesn’t like sending messages through the judicial system. “I don’t think it works very well. But frankly, the way to get the message out to the drug dealers is you have got a ticking time bomb with that drug you are selling and if somebody dies, there is going to be some accountability for you.”

Gmoser termed them “tough cases to prove” due to multiple drugs that are often found in the deceased person and the ability to trace a drug purchase to the approximate time of death.

“Drug users are often getting their drugs from multiple suppliers and generally not just one, so that is where the problem arises,” Gmoser said.

In this case, a cell phone trail was key. Gmoser said the data showed there was not a large amount of time between the couple receiving the drugs and their death, so they could not have gone to another dealer to get the drugs that led to their death.

“In this one we have a plea with accountability for killing two people,” Gmoser said.

Quinn’s defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III declined comment.

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