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Man pleads guilty to causing girlfriend's death with fentanyl

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Posted at 10:33 AM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 11:35:23-04

LEBANON, Ohio – A Lebanon man pleaded guilty to causing his girlfriend’s death by giving her fentanyl, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announced Wednesday.

Steven Lay, 35, purchased fentanyl for $65 from a drug dealer in Middletown last April, according to the news release. He brought the drugs home and used them with his girlfriend, Shawna Mitchell, in the bedroom while their 1-year-old child and Mitchell’s 10-year-old autistic child were in the family room.

Fentanyl is a drug that is similar to heroin, but much stronger and deadlier.

Lay passed out, and when he came to he found Mitchell unconscious in the hallway, officials said. He administered CPR unsuccessfully and then flushed the remaining drugs down the toilet and hid the drug paraphernalia under a mattress before calling 911.

Lebanon police and firefighters responded but were unable to revive Mitchell, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lay pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, tampering with evidence and two counts of child endangering.

“As we continue to see on a weekly basis in Warren County, whether it’s heroin, fentanyl, or the latest synthetic carfentanil, these opiates are a prescription for death,” Fornshell said in a news release.

Lay will be sentenced at a later date.