Man faces life in prison for selling drugs that involved in death by overdose case

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A Lakeside man was indicted April 11 by a federal grand jury for selling fentanyl to a La Mesa woman who died in an overdose.

Uriah Odish, 28, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court for knowingly distributing fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a 25-year-old woman who was only identified in court documents as T.H.

“There is a raging opioid epidemic in this country, and we want dealers to be on note: every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.

A Lakeside man was indicted April 11 by a federal grand jury for selling fentanyl to a La Mesa woman who died in an overdose.

Uriah Odish, 28, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court for knowingly distributing fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a 25-year-old woman who was only identified in court documents as T.H.

“There is a raging opioid epidemic in this country, and we want dealers to be on note: every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.

Braverman said in a statement that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed the department to use “all available criminal and civil tools to combat this deadly epidemic.”

S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin ordered Odish to remain in the Metropolitan Correctional Center without bail after Odish waived his right to have a bail hearing.

Fentanyl is a powerful drug and Odish is the fourth person charged this year with distributing it in the deaths of others. If convicted, Odish faces a life sentence in federal prison.

Odish is charged with selling the drug on Jan. 21, and the victim’s death was investigated by the La Mesa Police. He will next appear in San Diego Federal Court on May 4.

Drunk driver charged with manslaughter

An April 30 preliminary hearing is scheduled for a drunk driver from Lakeside who is charged with murder and gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of a man in El Cajon.

Joshua Colby Ness, 32, is accused of killing Michael O’Rourke on Oct. 10, 2017 around 10 p.m. when he crossed North Second Street near Madison Avenue.

Ness is also charged with hit and run in a traffic fatality, and driving under the influence of alcohol. If he goes to trial, a jury will decide if he committed murder or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Ness phoned El Cajon Police after hearing of the incident and met with officers before he was arrested. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $1 million bail.

Man shoots acquaintance

Grady Alan Neel III, 53, of Santee, will be sentenced April 25 after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in an incident in which an acquaintance was shot.

Neel admitted to causing great bodily injury to Christopher Browning who was wounded in his upper torso at 11:28 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2017, according to El Cajon Superior Court records.

Deputy District Attorney Brandon Owens said Neel faces up to seven years in state prison. Browning was shot in the 9800 block of Shirley Gardens Drive in Santee.

Neel and Browning had an argument earlier that day and the victim had friends in the apartment complex. Neel remains free on $100,000 bond.

Sentence given for displaying fake firearm

A man who was shot by a sheriff’s deputy after holding a firearm replica was sentenced on April 13 to 60 days in jail, which he has already served.

Robert Westbrook, 32, was placed on three years probation and given no additional time in jail for his conviction of brandishing a replica firearm and resisting an executive officer during an arrest.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Jeff Fraser fined Westbrook $1,044, and said Westbrook can transfer his probation to Orange County where he now lives.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a man threatening to commit suicide on Sept. 8, 2017 at 6:40 p.m. in Santee. A deputy located Westbrook in a car parked on the right shoulder of Highway 125, just north of the Grossmont College Drive exit.

A deputy saw Westbrook’s firearm replica in the vehicle. When Westbrook got outside with the firearm replica, a deputy shot him several times. He was rushed to a hospital.

The sheriff’s department released a photo of the realistic looking firearm replica, which only fires BBs and pellets. Westbrook had been living in his car.

Westbrook was convicted by a jury in a March trial. Westbrook was in jail for months, but did post $100,000 bond before his trial.

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