Third defendant acquitted on opioid murder charges

Marcell Davon Blackiston

Leonardtown, MD- On Wednesday, Jan. 10, a St. Mary’s County jury found a Lexington Park man guilty of five of seven charges relating to the fatal overdose of a local woman. Marcell Davon Blackiston was found guilty on two counts of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) possession-not marijuana; heroin and Fentanyl, two counts of CDS distribution of narcotics; heroin and Fentanyl and reckless endangerment. Blackiston was found not guilty of second-degree depraved heart murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Blackiston is among a group of eight suspected drug dealers who were indicted in August of 2017 by St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz in connection with the fatal overdoses of St. Mary’s County citizens.

So far, Fritz has tried three of the eight cases; Regina Claggett-Brown, Christina McCauley, and Blackiston. In all three cases the jurors did not find the defendants guilty on the second-degree depraved heart murder charge.

During the trial, video evidence along with testimony from two key witnesses, provided proof to the jurors that Blackiston did sell drugs laced with Fentanyl to DeAnna Lynn Howeth, of Lexington Park. She died Tuesday, May 23, 2017, hours after the video showed Blackiston making the drug exchange.

Blackiston has a criminal history dating back to 2005. He has been convicted of a number of crimes, including theft, assault and possession.

Judge David W. Densford presided over the jury trial and ordered Blackiston to remain in custody on a no bond status. Densford ordered a pre-trial investigation and has not yet set a sentencing date.

Contact Joy Shrum at

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