Man sentenced to 20 years in teenager’s motel drug death

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to giving a 17-year-old girl a lethal dose of the painkiller fentanyl at a motel was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in prison.

Mark Ross, of Rochester, pleaded guilty in federal court this year in the death of Evangelique “Eve” Tarmey, who died last October after taking the drug at a motel while she was with Ross and her mother, Jazzmyn Rood.

Ross, 42, was Rood’s boyfriend, and they lived at the motel. He feels sadness and remorse and takes responsibility for the teenager’s death, his lawyer said in court documents.

The case is “a sad and tragic example of what can occur when individuals are unable to overcome an addiction to heroin,” lawyer Philip Utter wrote.

Utter said for 30 years Ross had been exposed to, used and been addicted to various illegal substances.

“The last five years prior to his arrest, he essentially existed day to day, trying to avoid dope sickness,” Utter wrote. “He was living in hotels and surviving the best he could by essentially trying to supply his own habit.”

According to a police affidavit, Ross said he gave the drug to Eve because she was upset about not seeing her boyfriend. He said he thought it was the less-potent heroin. He pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing a controlled substance that caused a death.

Rood pleaded guilty to concealing knowledge and giving false information to police. She faces sentencing in December.

A woman facing the same charge as Ross, Leslie Aberle, also pleaded guilty in the case and is scheduled for sentencing in January.

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