An O'Fallon woman will spend seven years in prison for supplying the drugs that led to the death of another woman.
It all started with a couple of texts.
Jessica Marten, of Fairview Heights, texted Ashley Farkosh, now 30, asking for drugs, according to court documents that detailed the pair's conversation. Marten was back in the metro-east, and was looking to buy. Farkosh asked her what she needed.
"Same thing since I was a freaking dope and must have dropped it like an idiot yesterday," Marten said. "You think you can throw in a little extra with $80?"
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Farkosh agreed to deliver the drugs to Marten in Fairview Heights, then asked if she knew anyone who had Vicodin. Marten didn't, she said, but she sure wished she did. In texts to Farkosh, Marten told her she had been hurt in a car crash but didn't have any insurance.
Farkosh then offered to sell 100 mg fentanyl patches to Marten, if she wanted them. "Yea (sic) I know it's pricey but it's worth it. Yea if you chew it hits quicker and better," Farkosh said in texts, according to court documents.
After Farkosh reportedly dropped the drugs off, Marten texted her again, asking what to do with the patch. Farkosh told her to "keep chewing it like gum," even though it tasted bad.
Marten sent her last text to Farkosh at 8:38 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012. An hour later, police were called to her house and found that she had overdosed.
Court records state that three days after Marten died, Farkosh texted her again about a "good deal" she had. Investigators with the Fairview Heights Police Department texted her back and made a deal, planning to have Farkosh drop the drugs off at Marten's house.
When she arrived, police arrested her and reportedly found her in possession of cocaine. When she called her mother from the police station, she said "That girl died that I sold that stuff to," talking about the fentanyl patch she had sold Marten.
Charges, which weren't filed until three years later in 2015, said Farkosh "recklessly provided Jessica Marten with a prescription fentanyl patch and instructions for abusing it, causing her death."
Farkosh pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with the intent to sell it and involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced Thursday to five years for the manslaughter charge and seven for the drug charge. Both sentences will be served at the same time, meaning she will spend seven years in prison.
Three other counts, drug-induced homicide, unlawful dealing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession with the intent to distribute, were dismissed as a part of Farkosh's plea deal.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said he was happy Judge Randall Kelley handed down the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Terrance Watson, of Madison, also pleaded guilty in connection with Marten's death in May 2016 to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He was sentenced to four years in prison.