Southampton Man Faces Involuntary Manslaughter Charge in Teen Drug Overdose Death
However, the 22-year-old Upper Southampton man waived his right to a full preliminary hearing and is now set to face a new misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter when his case is heard at county court in Doylestown.
Before the drug delivery resulting in death charge was withdrawn, Bonhage was the first person in Bucks County be charged with that offense, according to the prosecution.
Bonhage is charged in connection to the death of a 19-year-old woman who was found unresponsive on the couch in his parent’s home on Dennis Road in December 2011. It is believed by authorities that she suffered an adverse reaction to prescription drugs Bonhage gave her, according to a report from PhillyBurbs.com
The PhillyBurbs report detailed the following chain of events in regards to the day of the incident:
Text messages between Bonhage and the 19-year-old victim show the duo went to a lot on Jaymor Road, where Bonhage’s car was impounded, due to a DUI arrest earlier in the day, and jumped a fence. Once in the lot, the 22-year-old retrieved prescription drugs from his car.An autopsy conducted by the Bucks County coroner ruled the woman’s death was caused by a drug overdose.
The victim and Bonhage spent a portion of the night of December 4, 2011 smoking marijuana and snorting crushed prescription pills. The victim began to have a bad reaction and was carried to the couch where she was found dead the next morning.
The drug delivery resulting in death legislation was introduced by State Representative Bernie O’Neill, whose district covers parts of Buckingham, New Hope, Upper Southampton, Warminster, Warwick, and signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett in July of last year.
Prior to the new law, prosecutors had to prove malice when charging a drug dealer in connection with the death of a victim who expired after taking a substance they were given or sold.
With the new law, all prosecutors have to do is prove that the drug dealer provided the substance that killed the victim.
After the hearing let out, Robert Mancini, Bonhage's hired defense attorney, and ADA Rees would not comment on the amendments to the charges.
It is unclear whether the change in charges was due to a plea deal.
Bonhage is currently out of prison on $20,000 unsecured bail for the charges connected with the woman’s death, and $5,000 related to his DUI charges.