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Leonardtown woman found guilty of manslaughter

Leonardtown, MD- A Leonardtown woman was found not guilty on the charge of second-degree depraved heart murder in connection with the overdose death of Mary Nell Miller in June of this year.

Christina Granados McCauley, 58, was found guilty on four other charges: controlled dangerous substance (CDS) possession not marijuana, CDS distribution of narcotics, manslaughter, and reckless endangerment.

During the thee-day trial, jurors heard from a number of witnesses, including Joshua Wrightson, the state’s key witness.

Wrightson testified that he and Miller purchased heroin from McCauley on June 23. When they went back to his apartment to take the drugs, Wrightson fell unconscious and when he woke up, he found Miller overdosing in the bathroom.

Wrightson gave Miller two doses of Naloxone (Narcan) in an attempt to revive her before performing CPR. The lifesaving attempts failed and Miller was declared dead when paramedics arrived.

The autopsy report ruled Miller’s death accidental and listed Carfentanil as one of the drugs found in her system. Carfentanil is a powerful opioid used as an elephant tranquilizer.

McCauley denied selling Wrightson and Miller the drugs.

McCauley was indicted in August along with seven other suspects. The indictments were announced at a press conference with St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, Governor Larry Hogan, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron and members of Maryland State Police. The second-degree depraved heart murder charge is the state’s attempt to hold suspected drug dealers accountable for deadly overdoses.

Fritz did not want to comment on the verdict because of McCauley's pending cases but he did say, "If you distribute drugs and you kill somebody, you will be prosecuted for homicide in St. Mary's County."

This was the second of the eight trials. In October, Regina Claggett-Brown was also found not guilty on second-degree murder-depraved heart but guilty on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment. Her sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

McCauley has seven more cases pending against her in St. Mary’s County. Each indictment includes multiple drug charges stemming from several dates in June and July of this year. She’s charged with CDS possession not marijuana and CDS distribution of narcotics in each case.

McCauley has several other drug convictions in St. Mary’s County. In December of 2016, she pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and received a one year suspended sentence and was placed on probation for two years.

In March of 2010, McCauley pleaded guilty to CDS possession-not marijuana and received a suspended six month sentence and 18 months of probation.

In November of 2009, McCauley pleaded guilty to CDS possession-not marijuana. She received an 18 month suspended sentence and was placed on probation for three years.

Judge Karen H. Abrams presided over the trial. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

Read more about McCauley's trial here

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