13 Jul Alleged fentanyl dealer charged with manslaughter back in court
A man charged by Stratford police with manslaughter after a 48-year-old man died of a fentanyl-related overdose made another brief video appearance in bail court Friday.
Duty counsel Raymond Warman spoke briefly with Terry Collins, 54, over a private line before requesting the case be adjourned to July 26 so Collins and Windsor-based defence lawyer Laura Joy can put together a potential plan for a bail hearing.
Justice of the peace Sonia Maria Aleong spoke directly to Collins, seen on the monitor with an orange jumpsuit and a shaved head, and approved the request.
Collins, who is also facing a drug-trafficking charge, was arrested May 24 at the conclusion of a five-month investigation that began after a Stratford man died on Dec. 21, 2018. Police said the man and a 33-year-old woman both went unconscious after ingesting a drug called “down” on the streets.
The woman was revived with the overdose antidote naloxone, but the man never recovered, police said.
Stratford police, with input from the Perth County Crown attorney’s office, laid the manslaughter charge, alleging the accused “ought to have known that trafficking in fentanyl is a dangerous act likely to cause death to a person.”
It’s a relatively new approach for Southwestern Ontario law enforcement officials, who are trying to cope with a growing regional opioid epidemic. Convictions of opioid-related deaths have incurred harsher penalties in recent years, with a Superior Court judge in Woodstock calling fentanyl the most dangerous drug currently on the streets.