Deadly heroin case moves closer to trial or plea

lfalce@centredaily.comJuly 15, 2014 

— The man accused of providing the heroin that killed a Boalsburg woman has taken a step closer to trial.

Ryan Kemp, 28, of Pennsylvania Furnace, was in court for a pretrial conference Tuesday. Kemp was charged in March with drug delivery resulting in death and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, all felonies, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charges stem from the January death of Elizabeth Smeltzer, 21, after Kemp allegedly gave her heroin and clonazepam.

Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob said he anticipates a one-day trial, if the case proceeds to a jury. He is prepared to put eight factual witnesses on the stand.

However, Boob would like to see the case stop before it gets that far.

“We are looking to try to work this out,” he told Judge Pamela A. Ruest.

Although no official plea offer has been extended to Kemp, Boob said he wants to talk to Smeltzer’s parents and see the case resolved without a trial.

Public defender Casey McClain agreed. He told the judge that his client would stipulate to many of the facts in the case, and that he and prosecutors have points of law to reconcile to bring the matter to a close.

Kemp is in Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Lori Falce can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @LoriFalce.

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