Coroner: Penn State student had synthetic acid in system during fatal balcony fall

mcarroll@centredaily.comJanuary 21, 2014 

Toxicology results confirm a 20-year-old old Penn State student had a synthetic hallucinogen in his system when he fell from a downtown apartment balcony and died in November.

Conor F. MacMannis, of Stafford, Va., tested positive for marijuana and a substance being referred to as synthetic LSD, the Centre County Coroner’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

State College police suspected in November that a synthetic drug led to MacMannis’ death and to the overdoses of several others who were with him the day of his death.

MacMannis also had a small amount of alcohol in his blood system, Coroner Scott Sayers said in the release.

Police at the time said several people who were in the apartment with MacMannis had to be taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment. They were suffering from hallucinations, extreme paranoia and aggression, and some were combative with authorities.

A witness who was with MacMannis said he had been using alcohol, marijuana and “acid” in the hours before his death, and had been exhibiting violent, strange behavior, according to a search warrant filed in the case.

Police previously said the death was accidental in nature but that an investigation would continue into the source of the drugs.

Investigators said the synthetic compound was being branded as “acid” and was being taken orally on small white rectangular tabs of paper.

MacMannis died of head trauma after landing on a sidewalk on Beaver Avenue early Nov. 16.

He was studying kinesiology at University Park after having attended Penn State Behrend, where he was a member of the track and field team.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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