One charge dismissed against alleged Bellefonte dealer in drug-overdose death

Douglas Sunday
Douglas Sunday

A judge dismissed a drug delivery resulting in death charge against a 30-year-old Bellefonte man because he did not inject heroin into the man who died, according to testimony from a state police at Rockview trooper.

Christopher Hagens allegedly gave Douglas Sunday $500 to purchase three bundles, or 30 bags, of heroin from the Pittsburgh area. Sunday confessed to buying the heroin for $200 and keeping the remaining $300 as profit, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Trooper Michael Brown testified at a preliminary hearing Wednesday that Hagens, 45, and Stephen Watkins, 32, met at Sunday's residence and they ingested heroin from the three bundles. Brown further testified that Watkins injected the heroin into his boyfriend's arm because he was afraid of needles.

Steven Trialonas, Sunday's attorney, asked the trooper how each of the 30 bags was used. Brown testified Hagens used two bags, Watkins used two or three bags, Sunday used two bags and Sunday's girlfriend used two bags, which left about 21 bags of heroin remaining.

Watkins and Hagens left with the 21 bags and continued to inject heroin after returning to their residence, according to the trooper's testimony. Hagens was pronounced dead on April 9 as a result of a multi-drug overdose and nine bags of heroin were recovered from the residence.

Trialonas asked Brown where the remaining 12 bags were and he provided an incomplete answer.

Brown testified Watkins woke up, looked at the deceased Hagens and "shot up multiple bags of heroin." Watkins did not call 911 to report Hagens' condition, but the girlfriend of Watkins' father did, according to the trooper's testimony.

"It's a peculiar situation. Two wrongs don't make a right," Trialonas said to District Judge Carmine Prestia. "I'm confused as to why Mr. Watkins is not seated at the defense table. Mr. Watkins delivered it into Mr. Hagens' body, which according to the coroner, was the result of his death."

Trialonas also argued Sunday is twice removed from the death because he allegedly gave the heroin to Watkins, who injected it into Hagens.

"Where do we stop? Clearly he (Sunday) is not the last person who delivered it," Trialonas said.

Deputy District Attorney Sean McGraw countered and argued the person who administered the heroin is not most important, but Sunday going to the Pittsburgh area to purchase the heroin with Hagens' money is important.

Prestia bound over all charges against Sunday except drug delivery resulting in death. Sunday was bound over on one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance, one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility, one misdemeanor count of marijuana possession and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Prestia did not change Sunday's bail, which was denied by District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker because it was the third time Sunday was charged with delivering drugs.

Sunday is being detained at the Centre County Correctional Facility.