GREENVILLE — Both sides completed their arguments and the jury went into deliberations Wednesday in the trial of Raymond Emerson, of Arcanum.
Emerson is on trial for a charge of corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony, relating to the overdose death of his wife, Angela Emerson, Jan. 18, 2014.
Officer David Kiser of the Arcanum Police Department, took the stand to relate his involvement in the case that was put into his charge two days after the victim’s death.
Kiser told of the interview he conducted with Raymond Emerson on Jan. 22, 2014. At issue was the fact that Kiser did not record the interview, at Emerson’s request.
Kiser testified that Emerson told him he had cut a 50-microgram-per-hour fentanyl patch in half and applied it to his wife. The patch had been purchased by Angela from Paul Lawson, a locally known drug dealer, Kiser testified.
The officer said Emerson said he took a nap and awoke to find his wife unresponsive. Emerson reportedly told Kiser he suspected someone had come into their home and caused Angela’s death while he was sleeping.
At issue with the testimony was the fact that Kiser did not record the interview, nor did he have Emerson write out and sign a statement. Kiser took handwritten notes during the interview then wrote up a narrative afterward, incorporating his previously known facts with Emerson’s statement.
Attorney for the defense James Detling pointed out inconsistencies between the handwritten notes and the narrative, including discrepancies in the dosage of the patch as well as the fact that the handwritten notes made no mention of Emerson cutting or applying the patch, while the narrative written afterward stated he had done so.
Kiser also testified that a laptop and Angela’s cell phone were taken for evidence and examined by the FBI, but neither contained anything relevant. The patch on the victim’s body and an empty fentanyl packet from a different patch were both checked for fingerprints, but nothing was found.
Excerpts from Wayne HealthCare’s records of three previous overdose incidents were read into the record, documenting Angela’s history of drug abuse and overuse, as well as noting that her husband, who was a registered nurse, had been told to take control of her medications.
Also testifying Tuesday was a friend of Angela’s, Cora Rice, who told the court she had been with Angela when she purchased the fentanyl patch the day before her death. Rice testified that she had frequently witnessed Angela overusing her prescription medications and that she was usually “messed up.”
Rice said Ray Emerson and his wife had clashed over Angela’s drug use, but that “she was going to do what she was going to do” and that Angela “didn’t really care” what Ray thought of her drug use.
The jury was charged with determining whether Emerson actually provided or administered the fentanyl, if he had reasonably known the fentanyl could cause his wife serious physical harm, and if the fentanyl was the cause of her death.