I turned Mr. Paul in on these charges, and based on the facts that I have been presented, the Commonwealth is overreaching on this case. Steven Townsend
By Richard Gazarik and Renatta Signorini
Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 4:06 p.m.
Updated 6 hours ago
Two people were arrested on Tuesday on charges of providing the heroin that killed a 24-year-old Delmont man in February and then removing syringes and other evidence from the house.
Ryan Robert Paul, 25, of Murrysville allegedly sold heroin to Joshua Perne on Feb. 15, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Through a review of Perne’s cellphone calls and text messages, police learned that Lisa Lynn Kaciubij, 39, of Delmont contributed money toward the purchase.
Paul and Kaciubij were arraigned on charges of drug delivery resulting in death and tampering with evidence.
The legislature recently removed intent from the state law, making it easier for prosecutors to charge a drug provider with third-degree murder.
District Attorney John Peck last month said he and the state police are sending investigators to every overdose death to determine whether anyone can be prosecuted under the revised law.
“There are at least two more investigations pending,” Peck said.
Paul and Kaciubij are the second and third people to be charged with the offense since February, when county detectives arrested Kyland Napper, 20, of Wilkinsburg for criminal homicide in the March 2012 death of Sage Capozzi in a Hempfield hotel room. Napper is accused of selling Capozzi the fatal dose of heroin. Napper is awaiting trial in Westmoreland County.
When Delmont Officer Blake Danowski arrived at Kaciubij’s home on Lou Anne Lane at 7:32 p.m. Feb. 15, she told him she awoke to find Perne unconscious. She said she tried to rouse him for 20 to 30 minutes by slapping his face and shaking him. But Danowski learned from county 911 dispatchers that Perne “may have been in a state of needing medical attention for at least two hours,” Danowski wrote in the affidavit.
When Danowski pressed Kaciubij about the time, she admitted she waited about two hours before calling for medical aid.
Kaciubij repeatedly denied that she and Perne were addicts and said she waited to call an ambulance because she was “stressed out,” Danowski said.
Delmont police Chief Tim Klobucar said county detectives and agents from the Attorney General’s Drug Task force helped in the probe. Agents obtained copies of cellphone calls and text messages between Kaciubij and Paul in which they allegedly discussed buying a brick of heroin, which is 50 bags, and whether Perne was “good with money.”
Paul allegedly delivered the heroin to Kaciubij’s home and left. When Kaciubij found Perne unconscious, she made two calls to Paul. He returned and helped her remove four syringes and several empty stamp bags that contained the heroin, according to the affidavit.
Later that day, an undercover task force agent purchased heroin from Paul. He was arrested and admitted to selling the heroin to Perne and helping to remove the evidence, according to the complaint.
In a separate case, Paul was charged with aggravated assault and attempted homicide for stabbing a man in the neck, nearly severing an artery, outside a Delmont bar on April 12, according to a separate complaint filed before District Judge Charles Conway of Murrysville.
Kaciubij is free after posting $10,000 bond. Paul is being held in Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bond.