Motter, Scott A.

Scott A. Motter

Supplying $60 worth of heroin laced with fentanyl that killed his best friend and roommate last year earned a Conneaut Lake man both a state prison sentence and a lecture from a Crawford County Court of Common Pleas judge.

Scott A. Motter, 49, was sentenced Thursday to a total of one year and nine months to seven years in prison for his role in the Feb. 11, 2018, death of Jeffrey Curlowicz, 51, of Linesville at an apartment the two men shared at the time. 

Motter pleaded guilty in county court in March to involuntary manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance for causing Curlowicz's death.

Toxicology testing of Curlowicz found fentanyl, alcohol and other substances in Curlowicz’s system, according to a report from the county Coroner’s Office.

Calling it a sad situation for both men's families, Spataro said Motter "may never intended to kill his his best friend, but let's look at the facts."

Spataro admonished Motter for buying $60 worth of heroin — especially not knowing what else it may contain.

According to Linesville Police Department charges, Motter bought $60 worth of heroin on Curlowicz's behalf on Feb. 9 after Curlowicz gave Motter the money.

Motter then delivered the drugs to Curlowicz later on Feb. 9, according to the charges. Curlowicz gave Motter the small amount left in the paper container that held the drugs after dumping most of the powdered substance onto a glass plate with the two men then being apart later that day. Motter found Curlowicz dead on Feb. 11 after Motter returned to the apartment to check on pets, according to the charges.

Linesville authorities later learned from Pennsylvania State Police that Motter also overdosed on Feb. 9 and had to be revived by emergency responders with several doses of Narcan, a medicine that can reverse an overdose.

"There's been so much publicity," Spataro said of the dangers of fentanyl-laced heroin. "You have to know this is highly dangerous. It's like playing Russian roulette. You were on probation — on supervision" at the time for other charges.

"All the drug treatment you do won't bring Mr. Curlowicz back," Spataro said to Motter. "All the apologies you make will not bring Mr. Curlowicz back.

"Your friend is dead, and you got a good plea deal," Spataro said.

Motter initially was charged with drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Motter reached a plea deal with the Crawford County District Attorney’s Office, pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for the drug delivery resulting in death charge to not be prosecuted. 

Motter could have faced up to 40 years in jail on the drug delivery resulting in death charge had the case gone to trial and he was convicted.

Spataro sentenced Motter to one year and nine months to seven years on the possession of a controlled substance charge and one year and nine months to five years for involuntary manslaughter. Spataro ordered both sentences be served at the same time and gave Motter credit for 27 days of presentence jail time.

Motter also was ordered to pay a total of $1,000 in fines plus court costs.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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