The jury heard opening speeches Wednesday morning during the trial of Tracy Boyd, who is charged with two drug-related deaths.
Boyd, 53, is on trial in Warren Circuit Court on two cases of second degree manslaughter, three cases of first degree trafficking of controlled substance and involvement in organized crime.
Prosecutors are trying to hold him responsible for the deaths of Joshua Kinkade, 32, and Matthew Dobring, 38.
Kinkade was found dead in a Parkhurst Drive residence on November 22, 2019, while Dobring was found dead in a Louisville residence on November 24, 2019.
Warren County’s Commonwealth Assistant attorney Adam Turner said during his opening address that evidence will show that Boyd, with the help of co-defendants Stephanie Silvano and Scott Bernauer, was selling drugs.
Turner said Silvano told detectives investigating Kinkade’s death that she bought heroin from a man she knew as “C”, whom police would later identify as Boyd.
“She also identifies Bernauer as ‘C’s’ errand boy,” said Turner.
Turner said the jury would likely hear testimony from people involved in drug use who the prosecutor said could be linked to Boyd, as well as from law enforcement officers whose investigation was based in part on information from Silvano led them to arrest Boyd.
Silvano reportedly told police that she knew “C” had been selling drugs from an apartment on Old Morgantown Road.
Boyd denied knowledge of a drug trade during a police interview, Turner said.
“(Boyd) took precautions not to be caught and he took significant amounts of drugs out of the apartment and brought others into his surgery,” Turner said.
Boyd’s attorney, Alan Simpson, said in his opening speech that jurors should question the credibility of Silvano and Bernauer’s testimony.
Both co-defendants pleaded guilty to a reckless murder in connection with Kinkade’s death, while Silvano pleaded guilty to three cases of trafficking in first-degree controlled substances and Bernauer pleaded guilty to possessing a first-degree controlled substance.
They are waiting to be sentenced in their cases.
“Both will say and do anything to divert guilt and get out of trouble,” said Simpson.
Boyd was identified by police as a suspect “in a hurry” to find out who was behind the deaths of Kinkade and Dobring, said Simpson, who told the jury that the police did not make any undercover drug purchases or record keeping with Boyd Boyd mentions drug activity.
“There is no smoking weapon that the Commonwealth needs so badly,” said Simpson.
Five months before the two deaths, Silvano was arrested by police for drug trafficking after responding to tips previously received and monitoring outside of her home.
Large quantities of drugs and multiple weapons were found in Silvano’s home after police issued a search warrant, and Simpson said the police conducted a “textbook” investigation to arrest Silvano.
The day after Dobring’s death, police received a tip-off through South Central Kentucky Crime Stopper implicating another person, Ben Deboer, in the overdose, but police didn’t interview him until March 2020 and he denied involvement, Simpson said.
There will also be conflicting information citing fentanyl as a supply for Silvanos and Boyd reportedly “never touched” the drug, according to Simpson.
“The evidence will be clear, these two families (the victims) suffered a great loss, and it’s sad because they’ll never know where the drugs came from,” Simpson said.
The first witnesses to testify on Wednesday morning were Dr. Darius Arabadjief and Dr. Ashley Mathew, forensic pathologist with the Kentucky Office of the Medical Examiner.
Arabadjief performed Kinkade’s autopsy and stated that Kinkade died of acute drug poisoning from the combined effects of fentanyl, opiates, and methamphetamine.
A toxicological report showed the presence of lethal amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the Kinkade system.
Mathew, who performed Dobring’s autopsy, said his death was caused by methamphetamine / amphetamine / fentanyl poisoning.
Toxicology showed lethal doses of meth and fentanyl in the Dobring system, including the reported 1,234 nanograms per millileter of meth, more than ten times the amount in the Kinkade system, which was also a lethal dose.
Mathew said Dobring’s autopsy showed signs of a heart attack, but she testified that she didn’t believe the heart attack caused his death.
Morphine, which may have metabolized heroin, was found in Dobring’s urine, Mathew said.
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