Second degree murder trial enters third day for Leonardtown woman

Leonardtown, MD- The second-degree depraved heart murder trial for a Leonardtown woman enters its third dayThursday, Dec. 14.

Christina Granados McCauley, 58, is also charged with controlled dangerous substance (CDS) possession not marijuana, CDS distribution of narcotics, manslaughter, and reckless endangerment in connection with the June death of Mary Nell Miller of California.

The first witness called to testify by St. Mary's County State's Attorney Richard Fritz was Joshua Wrightson, the man who was with Miller when she overdosed. Wrightson told the court he and Miller purchased heroin from McCauley. In several Facebook messages between Wrightson and McCauley that Fritz entered as evidence, Wrightson asked her if he could purchase drugs because he was suffering from withdrawal. She messaged him back saying he could come to her house in a few hours to make the purchase.

Wrightson said Miller drove him to McCauley’s house on June 23 to buy some heroin. Afterward, they went back to his apartment in Leonardtown to take the drugs.

Wrightson testified that he passed out after ingesting the drugs and we he woke up, he found Miller overdosing in the bathroom. Wrightson said he ran upstairs to get help from his neighbor, Jack, to help him revive Miller.

Wrightson said around the same time his roommate, Mark Bowers, returned home and he provided two doses of Naloxone (Narcan) in an attempt to revive Miller.

Bowers testified that when he arrived home and saw what was happening, he immediately called 9-1-1. When the defense asked Wrightson why he didn’t call for help, he said “I felt if we could get her out of there and give her the Naloxone, she would be OK.” He went on to testify that Miller “would have been upset it we called 9-1-1 because she had overdosed in the past.”

When paramedics arrived on the scene, Miller was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead.

During Bowers’ testimony, he told the court during a conversation with McCauley, she admitted to him the drugs she had been selling were strong. McCauley allegedly admitted to Bowers “people were ‘going down.’ ” When asked for clarification about what it meant to “go down,”  Bowers testified that the drugs were too potent and McCauley was cutting down the drugs in an attempted to reduce the potency.

Bowers also told the court during a conversation with McCauley after Miller’s death that there was “incriminating evidence” on Wrightson’s phone.

Both Wrightson and Bowers admitted to the court they were drug users but say they are currently recovering from their addictions.

Two officers with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office also testified during the first day of the trial. Captain Edward Willenborg, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) said he was the first detective from CID to arrive at the scene.

Willenborg testified that he witnessed Wrightson’s neighbor, Jack, who tried to help revive Miller, dumping two trash bags in the dumpster behind the apartment building.
When detectives searched those bags, a number of items were recovered, including syringes and a spoon used to cook drugs.

Judge Karen H. Abrams is presiding over the trial, which is expected to wrap up Thursday.

Contact Joy Shrum at

Read more about McCauley’s prior drug convictions here.

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