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Man placed on rider for friend’s fatal overdose

Crime Watch

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Christopher Allen Rhondeau | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man will spend up to a year in a rider program for arranging the sale of drugs that led to his friend’s death.

On Wednesday, Christopher Allen Rhondeau, 30, was sentenced three to 16 years after pleading guilty to felony delivery of a controlled substance. District Judge Bruce Pickett opted to retain jurisdiction in the case, meaning Rhondeau will spend time in an Idaho Department of Correction facility for treatment.

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After a year, Pickett will review the case and either send him to prison or place him on probation.

The plea agreement came in exchange for prosecutors to dismiss a great bodily felony enhancement in the case. The state charged Rhondeau after first responders found Jerrad Donald Haley, 30, dead from an apparent overdose in Feb. 2019. According to court documents, Rhondeau organized the sale of the fatal heroin between Haley and Jack Peyton Chance Winger.

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

Winger also pleaded guilty to felony delivery of a controlled substance in connection to the death.

During interviews with detectives, it became apparent Rhonadeau left Haley for dead in a 17th Street apartment following the overdose. When investigators found Haley, a T-shirt covered his face.

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

Pickett also ordered Rhondeau pay $1,785.50 in fees and fines.

Winger is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 18 by District Judge Joel E. Tingey.

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