Trial reset in W.Va. overdose death cases

Kelvin Johnson

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A┬áBaltimore man accused of selling drugs that led to the overdose deaths of two West Virginia residents last year saw his trial rescheduled for

Sykebia Stewart

April 17 in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg.

Kelvin Johnson, 25, faces single counts of distribution of heroin and aiding and abetting in the distribution of heroin stemming from the deaths of Joel Custer, 22, of Augusta, W.Va., and Jorge Mercado-Madrano, 18, of Falling Waters.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gina Groh rejected a plea agreement reached in the case earlier this year after concluding it was not in the community’s best interest.

Johnson could face a sentence of 20 years to life in prison if he is convicted on the aiding-and-abetting charge, and a maximum of 20 years if convicted on the distribution-of-heroin charge.

According to a report in the Herald Mail, Johnson’s co-defendant in the case, Sykebia Stewart, 24, allegedly provided drugs to Mercado-Medrano and two other males in May, 2016, at Motel 6 in

Spring Mills.

The prosecution’s case against Stewart still is pending in federal court.

Johnson’s trial had been scheduled for Oct. 23.


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