NORRISTOWN PA – An overdose death of a Sanatoga resident earlier this year is being attributed to the alleged delivery of drugs by a Pottstown man, who has been arrested and will be prosecuted for criminal homicide and other charges, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office announced Monday (Oct. 2, 2017).
Ronald Purvis, 32, of Pottstown (at top), is accused of “drug delivery resulting in death,” for which a conviction could result in a sentence of up to 40 years, according to District Attorney Kevin Steele. Steele claimed the victim, Kevin High, 29, of Sanatoga, died from combined drug intoxication by methamphetamine and synthetic opioids supplied by Purvis.
The penalty for the felony criminal homicide charge is similar to that for third-degree murder, the district attorney noted.
“Kevin High died from being poisoned by these deadly drugs provided to him by a dealer. I cannot say this enough: dealers peddling their poison should think twice about doing so in Montgomery County. If someone dies and we can prove it was from the drugs you provided to them, you are on the hook for homicide,” Steele proclaimed in a press release.
Additionally, Purvis is charged with involuntary manslaughter, possession with intent to deliver, recklessly endangering another person, hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse.
He was arraigned last Wednesday (Sept. 27) before Magisterial District Judge Edward C. Kropp Sr., who set bail at $500,000. Purvis was transported to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, and awaits a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 11 in Kropp’s downtown Pottstown courtroom. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ringwood.
Pottstown police responded during the early morning hours of March 30 (2017) to an East High Street apartment, where they found a man later identified as High lying dead in a hall at the bottom of a stairway inside the building.
Investigators allege High arrived at the defendant’s apartment at about 3:10 p.m. that afternoon. Purvis, they said, gave High “a baggie from a drawer in the living room, which usually contained heroin, and the contents of a metal container, which usually contained methamphetamine.” High ingested both and quickly showed signs of distress, according to their report.
While High was apparently overdosing, investigators added, Purvis and a neighbor carried him into the hallway, where he later died. They also allege he intentionally destroyed videotapes and other evidence.
So far this year, Steele reported, his office authorized five criminal homicide arrests, “and more arrests will be coming,” he promised. “Our law enforcement agencies are working together to combat this terrible epidemic, and we are committed to stemming the tide of the pain, suffering, addiction and death that those who traffic poison are raining down on our county and bringing into all of our lives.”
Graphic from Google Images; photo from the Montgomery County District Attorney