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Man charged for his alleged involvement in friend’s fatal overdose

Crime Watch

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Christopher Allen Rhondeau | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — Prosecutors have charged a man who they say arranged a sale of drugs that led to his friend’s death.

First responders found Jerrad Donald Haley, 30, dead in his apartment on Feb. 4. An autopsy revealed he died from a drug overdose.

Christopher Allen Rhondeau, 30, told investigators he arranged the sale of the heroin and methamphetamine found in Haley’s body, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

According to police reports, Rhondeau and Haley were looking for a fix the evening of Feb. 3 when Rhondeau said he had a connection to a dealer. The pair reportedly drove to McDonald’s on 17th Street to meet with a known drug dealer and purchased heroin and methamphetamine. They then drove back to an apartment on 17th Street where they were staying the night.

In an interview with a tenant at the apartment, investigators learned Rhonadeau, his girlfriend and Haley went into the back room. Both Rhondeau and the woman agreed to speak with detectives but failed to show up to interviews. Police located the couple on Feb. 13 at a motel and they gave conflicting stories, prompting detectives to interview again.

Rhondeau told detectives Haley injected himself with the meth and heroin before falling to the floor struggling to breathe. Rhondeau said he performed CPR and Haley began throwing up, according to court documents.

“Chris says that he thought that Jerrod was ok so he and (the girlfriend) gathered up their stuff and left,” according to court documents.

Hours later the tenant in the apartment found Haley on the floor with a shirt covering his face. A toxicology report showed high levels of meth and heroin with a blood alcohol content of .021. When detectives asked Rhondeau why the shirt was on Haley’s face if he was alive when they left, he said he didn’t know.

Rhondeau became emotional and told detectives he actually failed to revive his friend and they left out of fear, according to court documents.

Jerrad Donald Haley | Obituary photo

“Both Chris Rhondeau and (the girlfriend) knew that Jerrad had died and made no effort to contact any emergency services,” a detective writes in his report. “It is unknown exactly how the deal went down in regards to whether Chris or Jerrad bought the drugs.”

Prosecutors did not charge the girlfriend or dealer in connection to the overdose but Rhondeau is charged with felony principal to deliver a controlled substance and infliction of great bodily injury enhancement.

Idaho does not have a statute to charge someone for this exact situation, according to Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey. Dewey says federal codes allow federal prosecutors file charges but in this case, that didn’t happen. Dewey says a principal charge implies an individual has some level of liability in the crime.

Rhondeau is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 13. If convicted, he could spend up to life in prison for the principal delivery charge and the enhancement may add an additional 20 years.

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