Monday, March 10, 2014
By Kaitlin Schroeder email@example.com
FARMINGTON — A Wilton father and son pleaded guilty Friday to unlawfully trafficking morphine at a birthday party in November where the father’s girlfriend fatally overdosed on the drugs.
Left to right, are: Roy Gordon, Terry Oliver, Seth Gordon, Erick Barnes and Scott Kidder.
Roy Gordon, 42, and Seth Gordon, 23, each face up to two years in prison as part of the plea deal approved by Justice Michaela Murphy in Franklin County Superior Court.
Of the three other people charged in the case, one is scheduled for trial and two others pleaded guilty.
Roy Gordon’s attorney, Woody Hanstein, emphasized that Gordon was not admitting guilt to causing the death of his girlfriend, Marilyn Rider, 52, who died of a morphine overdose at her Silver Maple Lane home Nov. 11.
Roy Gordon was originally charged with aggravated trafficking of drugs that caused the death of another person, which is a class A felony and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The Gordons, who both were released on bail, are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 1.
Hanstein told Murphy he wanted to note that Roy Gordon was tested by a doctor on his intelligence and tested into the bottom percentile.
Hanstein said he still felt that he and the assistant district attorneys had reached a fair deal for his client, taking Gordon’s low intelligence level into consideration.
“I’m highly aware of the issue and the complications this might create, but I’m confident this deal is in his best interests,” he said.
Murphy said the documents from the intelligence tests would be considered at the sentencing hearing.
Roy Gordon stood next to Hanstein during the hearing, drumming his fingers on the rail he stood against. He bobbed his head emphatically when he answered yes to Murphy’s questions about whether he understood the terms of the deal and entered the agreement free of coercion.
Hanstein said the sentencing hearing is likely to be a lengthy one and the date for sentencing will likely be rescheduled for another day when the court schedule is more open.
The Gordons are two of five people charged in connections to Rider’s overdose death.
Eric Barnes, 27, of Industry, has not reached a plea deal with the state and his request to proceed to a jury-waived trial was approved by Murphy Friday.
Murphy said if Barnes is found guilty then he will be sentenced at the same time as the Gordons.
Seth Gordon told investigators that Barnes was at the birthday party and gave Rider one of two injections of morphine that night.
Scott Kidder, 32, was sentenced in March to pay a $400 fine and serve two years on probation after he finishes serving two years in prison for a probation violation for a prior conviction.
Kidder helped provide the morphine that Rider took at Roy Gordon’s birthday party.
Terry Oliver, 53, accepted same plea deal as the Gordons in May and will be sentenced with them.
Oliver sold the morphine, originally in pill form, to the party-goers, according to court documents.
According court documents, Rider's neighbors reported hearing Roy Gordon yelling for Rider to wake up early that morning.
Roy Gordon called his parents’ house and asked them to come over. His mother called 911 after she arrived at the apartment. Barnes, Roy Gordon, Gordon's mother and Rider’s 11-year old son were all at the house when police and an ambulance arrived, according to the affidavit.
According the affidavit, Barnes and Roy Gordon put several needles in a box and removed them before emergency responders came to the apartment.
The day before, Rider injected morphine during a birthday party for Roy Gordon at his parents’ house in Wilton, according to the affidavit.
Court documents state that Seth Gordon told investigators that he was at the party and gave Rider her first injection of morphine.
Seth Gordon told investigators that Rider became increasingly affected by the drug throughout the night and Rider’s son became upset because she was unable to stand up or speak coherently.