Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Man sentenced for dealing drugs to Dresden mother who overdosed in presence of baby
A Zanesville man received a prison sentence of eight to 12 years in relation to the death of a new mother in Dresden.
In September, 25-year-old Jensen Mautz died in the presence of her two-month old baby after overdosing on fentanyl.
After 14 failed attempts to reach Mautz on her phone, the young mother’s boyfriend arrived home to find her dead on the bedroom floor with a needle in her arm and their baby lying in the middle of the bed.
The results of Mautz’s mouth swab conducted by Muskingum County Coroner Seth Vinsel showed that she had fentanyl and THC in her system at the time of her death.
Detectives searched the home and found several baggies of narcotics in the bedroom, as well as additional baggies located by Mautz’s boyfriend in the following days.
By searching Mautz’s phone, detectives learned that Mautz had been messaging drug dealer Daniel Gause to purchase narcotics for several years. Their most recent exchange was just two days before Mautz overdosed.
In Court, Mautz’s mother explained her long-time battle with addiction, and acknowledged the struggles the addiction had on her family. She told Judge Kelly Cottrill that Mautz had turned a corner with the birth of her child, and that she was staying in Dresden to keep herself away from easy access to narcotics. Unfortunately, Gause was willing to deliver the drugs to Mautz, according to her mother.
Gause admitted to detectives that he grows his own marijuana at home, but does not mix it with fentanyl. He also admitted that he sold Mautz fentanyl and marijuana following their Facebook Messenger conversation.
Following Gause’s arrest, the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office searched Gause’s home with the permission of his wife and found a small marijuana grow in the basement.
In April, Gause pleaded guilty to one first-degree felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one second-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs.
While Gause pled guilty to a felony of the first and a felony of the second degree, the two charges merged together for sentencing. Merger is a legal procedure that relates to the fact that certain behavior can violate the law in different ways, but a person cannot be punished over, and over for the same acts. When a case is indicted, typically the defendant is charged with all the different ways that they violated the law. But at sentencing time, they can only be punished for one of the ways. The state gets to choose which crime for which the defendant will be punished.
In this case the prosecutor’s office opted to have Gause sentenced on the felony of the second degree, because that count carries mandatory prison, meaning that the time cannot be reduced by judicial release, or good behavior. That means Gause will serve his eight year sentence day-for-day, and if he misbehaves in prison, up to four additional years can be added to his sentence.
Follow the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook for the most current and complete information.