A Vancouver man was sentenced to four years in prison for selling the fentanyl that caused another man’s fatal overdose in October 2022.
Jacob A. Weese, 33, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court to second-degree manslaughter. He was originally charged with controlled substance homicide.
In court, Christopher Bird’s mother held up a photo of her son while she told Judge Jennifer Snider about his life. She said his death was a tremendous shock.
“I don’t like sharing him here like this, I’d rather share him with anyone else, anywhere else,” she said.
Defense attorney Katie Kauffman called Bird’s death a “complete tragedy.” She said Bird, 30, was Weese’s friend, and at one point, Weese had reached out to Bird’s family about the funeral arrangements.
Weese said he was sorry for Bird’s death and that he wouldn’t have given him the pills if he knew they’d lead to his death.
On Oct. 13, 2022, emergency responders arrived at a house in the 200 block of East 29th Street in Vancouver. A man said he found his roommate dead in his bedroom, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Vancouver firefighters officially declared Bird dead; Vancouver police noted signs of drug use in the bedroom, court records state.
The week after Bird’s death, officers searched his phone and laptop. They found Bird had been messaging Weese on Facebook about the sale of “blues,” which investigators said they know to be slang for counterfeit Oxycodone pills that contain fentanyl. Officers said the messages showed Weese agreed to sell the pills to Bird and gave Bird his address to come get them, according to the affidavit.
Police also said a search of Weese’s Facebook account showed he deleted the messages. They also searched Bird’s Uber account, which showed he got a ride to Weese’s house and back home on the night of Oct. 12, 2022. Bird’s phone data also showed he had not left his house after arriving home from Weese’s house, according to court records.
In April, detectives received a report from the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, which stated Bird’s cause of death was fentanyl toxicity. A toxicology report from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab also confirmed Bird’s blood contained a fatal level of fentanyl, the affidavit states.
The crime lab also confirmed the pills first responders found in Bird’s possession contained fentanyl, according to court records.