No charges yet for man accused of homicide by heroin

Prosecuting Attorney's Office wants more investigation

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Clark County prosecutor has declined to charge a 34-year-old Washougal man accused of dealing a fatal dose of heroin March 5 to a Vancouver woman.

Matthew M. Evans was arrested Saturday on suspicion of controlled-substance homicide related to the death of Jamie L. Cortez, 33.

Evans was exonerated Wednesday for further investigation. Evans still could be charged with the crime.

"There's still an investigation going on, and we need to get that done before we file any charges," said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein.

Klein declined to comment on what specific information the Prosecuting Attorney's Office would need to file charges.

Cortez died early March 6 of a heroin overdose at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Clark County sheriff’s detectives used a warrant to search her home for evidence tied to her death and found text messages on her phone that showed she had arranged to purchase heroin from Evans shortly before her overdose, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Court records indicate Evans confessed that he sold her a “10-piece” of heroin around 9 p.m. March. 5. A “10-piece” means a single heroin dose, which usually costs around $10. A single dose may be fatal, depending on the purity of the heroin and the tolerance of the user.