Vancouver woman faces charges in man's meth death

She's accused of selling the drug to man

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: November 26, 2013, 9:52 AM

 

A Vancouver woman appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of causing the death of a Skamania County man by selling him methamphetamine.

John Cantwell, 40, of Carson died Aug. 10 in the passenger seat of a friend's vehicle from ingesting the drug, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

Andrea R. Thomas, 42, faces charges at a Dec. 6 arraignment of controlled substance homicide and tampering with physical evidence. Judge Robert Lewis held her on $100,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Louis Byrd Jr. to defend her.

Thomas is accused of selling the drug Aug. 10 to Cantwell in the parking lot of Albertsons grocery store, 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., in Vancouver.

After taking the drug, Cantwell asked his friend, Wendy Taylor, to take him to his home, according to the affidavit. On the way to his residence, Cantwell began "acting differently" and said he'd had an "eight ball," Taylor told Washougal police. He started convulsing and may have passed out, Taylor said in the affidavit. An eight-ball refers to an eighth of an ounce of a drug.

Once at home, Taylor called 911 for emergency medical help. Emergency Medical Services, which responded to the call, found Cantwell dead in the front passenger seat of Taylor's vehicle, the affidavit says.

Cantwell's age wasn't revealed in court documents.

Skamania County sheriff's investigators, who conducted an investigation into Cantwell's death, found methamphetamine in Cantwell's cigarette pack, according to court documents.

Thomas admitted to police that Cantwell had given her money but claimed that it was intended to pay her cellphone bill, court documents say.

Washougal police said they obtained a warrant to search Thomas' cellphone, but Thomas told police that the phone had been stolen, the affidavit says.

Police learned later from a witness that Thomas has smashed her cellphone with a hammer, so that police couldn't look at its contents, according to the affidavit.