Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 24, 2023
Registered Mississippi sex offender pleads guilty in Zanesville fatal overdose case
A Zanesville drug dealer whose sales contributed to the death of another man pleaded guilty to several charges in Common Pleas Court Friday.
Richard McCree faces a sentence of eight to 12 years for corrupting another with drugs, 18 months for trafficking cocaine and another 18 months for violating the terms of his sexual offender registration.
In September, the parents of 44-year-old Robert “Andy” Marshall reported their son missing after he didn’t show up for work or return home that evening as usual. Not long after filing the report, family members found Marshall’s body inside his car at the beach access parking lot of Dillon State Park.
A thorough investigation led by Detective Sergeant Brady Hittle of the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office quickly linked the fatal overdose of cocaine and fentanyl to Shelbie Mourer, who sold the drugs to Marshall.
After her arrest, Mourer confessed that she obtained the cocaine from McCree at his home on Hedgewood Avenue.
In October, Mourer pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, drug trafficking and tampering with evidence charges.
Investigators, including detectives with the Zanesville/Muskingum County Joint Drug Unit, went further, pursuing an investigation into McCree, verifying his financial transactions with Mourer, conducting controlled buys of drugs from McCree, and tying the two cases together.
Ohio law makes it a crime to, “by any means, administer or furnish to another or induce or cause another to use a controlled substance, and thereby cause serious physical harm to the other person…” In this case, Richard “Mississippi” McCree furnished the cocaine to Marshall by means of Shelbie Mourer.
Although the amount of cocaine found in Marshall’s system was high enough to cause his death, a ruling by the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals requires proof that a single transaction caused death for involuntary manslaughter to be charged. In this case, there was a separate drug deal involving fentanyl not provided by McCree, that prevented him from being charged with involuntary manslaughter.
"Once again, local law enforcement went the extra mile by tracking down the hand-to-hand supplier of fatal drugs and then bringing down the narcotics source as well," Assistant Prosecutor John Litle, who handled the case, said. "The Muskingum County law enforcement team is the tip of the spear in Ohio for punishing poisoners and spreading the word that every drug deal might be a dealer’s last day as a free person."
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