Two appear in court over man's fatal heroin overdose

Man, woman arrested on suspicion of controlled substance homicide

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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Two suspects held in connection with the fatal heroin overdose of a Vancouver man this summer made their first appearance Friday in Clark County Superior Court.

Jerome M. Otto, 22, and Brittany N. Sonnen, 25, were arrested on suspicion of controlled substance homicide, a Class B felony, in connection with the death of 24-year-old Adam Hurd.

Judge John Wulle set bail at $100,000 for Otto and issued a no-bail hold for Sonnen, who has other pending charges.

Arraignment was set for Dec. 16.

Detectives began investigating Otto and Sonnen in August after it was discovered that they sold heroin to Hurd through a third person, according to court documents. Hurd was rushed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center on Aug. 21 because of a heroin overdose. Three days later, Hurd was taken off life support and died.

“Otto and Brittany Sonnen sold heroin to (the third person) with the full knowledge and understanding that it would be provided to Hurd,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court. A witness “further explained that the heroin sold to (the third person) was, with 90 percent certainty, the cause of Hurd’s death.”

Investigators allege that Otto and Sonnen also knew Hurd’s father had tried to help him with his heroin addiction by having him work at a family business in Eastern Oregon.

Detectives also allege that the suspects knew Hurd had overdosed on the drug before. When they found out about his death, the two allegedly tried to conceal their involvement in the drug sale, according to court documents.

Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516; http://www.twitter.com/col_courts;laura.mcvicker@columbian.com.