Man arraigned in case of drug delivery resulting in death
Zachary John Lawson, 27, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox Thursday on charges brought by the Troy Borough Police Department stemming from the heroin overdose of Michael David Virgin which resulted in his death on July 5, 2011.
Lawson has been charged with first-degree felony drug delivery resulting in death and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
According to a police affidavit, Virgin was found deceased inside a residence in Troy.
The affidavit does not list a current address for Lawson.
Police said Virgin was 29-years-old at the time of his death and lived in Troy Borough.
On July 7, 2011, Bradford County Coroner Thomas Carman stated the cause of death as accidental drug overdose.
That night, police executed a search warrant to seize Virgin's personal cell phone. In the months following, police discovered text messages between Virgin and an individual known as "Cracker," later identified as Lawson, that detailed a drug transaction between the two men on the day of Virgin's death.
On Jan. 19, 2012, state police spoke with Lawson where he told police that on the day of Virgin's death he sold Virgin two bundles of heroin and 10 syringes for $345 outside of his apartment in Troy.
Lawson told police that he didn't know Virgin died until they told him that night. Lawson also told police that he warned Virgin "1,000 times" that the heroin he was buying was very potent, and that Virgin shouldn't be trying to use as much as he was used to.
Lawson told police Virgin responded by saying "he was fine," and "not to worry about it."
Police then provided Lawson with a written statement detailing the information he had divulged to police that night. Lawson read and signed the statement.
Three months later, on April 3, Carman amended Virgin's cause of death to "homicidal due to the delivery, the subsequent use, and resulting death of the victim by using said controlled substance," the police affidavit said. The change was a result of a multi-agency investigation, the police affidavit said.
Judge Wilcox remanded Lawson to the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $300,000 bail.
Lawson was unable to post bail and is scheduled to appear before Wilcox on Sept. 11 for a preliminary hearing, according to online court information.
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: email@example.com.