Tempers flared Tuesday during the sentencing of 21-year-old Renardo Owens when his family members clashed with the boyfriend of a woman who died from the fentanyl Owens gave her.
Brad Keen told the packed Summit County Common Pleas courtroom that Georgia Speck’s kids and grandkids will never see her again.
“Because of him,” he said, pointing at Owens.
This prompted an outburst from Owens’ family members and friends seated in the audience. Assistant Prosecutor Kassim Ahmed ousted one of them from the courtroom.
“This is a courtroom,” Ahmed said sternly. “Show some respect.”
Keen, though, wasn’t done there. He urged Judge Todd McKenney to give Owens the maximum 11 years in prison.
McKenney, however, went with the plea agreement negotiated by Owens’ attorney and Ahmed, sentencing Owens to eight years in prison, with the possibility of judicial release after 5½ years. Ahmed said prosecutors will object to his release.
Owens, of Akron, pleaded guilty earlier this month to felonious assault, a first-degree felony, and aggravated trafficking, a third-degree felony. Under the agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated possession of drugs, corrupting another with drugs and aggravated trafficking in drugs.
Owens admitted to selling fentanyl to Speck on Sept. 3. Speck, 62, of Akron, later died from taking the drug. Police arrested Owens when he attempted to make another drug deal, according to prosecutors.
Fentanyl is a pain medicine often mixed with heroin to increase its euphoric effects. People buying heroin often don’t know whether they are getting heroin, fentanyl or a combination of the two.
Ahmed said Owens “dealt death to people to earn a dollar.”
“He has left quite a mess behind,” he said.
Jacquelyn Keller, Speck’s sister, though, said her sister made a bad choice, as did Owens.
“You’re young,” she told Owens. “You can use this time and turn your life around.”
Owens said during his brief remarks that he hopes to do just that. He also apologized to Speck’s loved ones.
“I made a lot of bad decisions,” Owens said, getting teary. “I want to go down there and do everything I’ve got to do.”
McKenney said he hopes Owens makes the most of his time in prison and doesn’t get into more trouble.
Owens family members clapped after the sentencing, with one woman yelling, “Thanks, Judge!”
Akron Police Detective Mike Schmidt, who works in the department’s heroin unit, escorted Keen, Speck’s boyfriend, from the courtroom, ahead of Owens’ supporters. A deputy walked out with Keller.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.