CHARDON, Ohio - A man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after authorities said he sold the father of a Chardon High School shooting victim the heroin that caused his death.
Chad J. Riffett, 37, of Chardon, pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in heroin, all felonies.
Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz said Riffett sold a fatal dose of heroin to Russell King Sr., 48.
King, whose son Russell King, Jr. was shot and killed in a shooting at Chardon High School in 2012, was found dead of a heroin overdose Feb. 27, exactly two years after the shooting.
This is the first time an accused heroin dealer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Geauga County.
Flaiz said heroin is a “huge problem” in Geauga County. He said drug-related charges make up 40% of the county’s pending felony cases.
He hopes Riffett’s case will send a message to heroin dealers that they will face serious consequences for their actions.
If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Riffett is currently serving a 60 day sentence at the Geauga County Safety Center related to an OVI conviction.
During the court hearing, Judge Forrest W. Burt set bond for Riffett at $75,000.