EAST PETERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — An East Petersburg man was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison, following a fentanyl delivery that resulted in the death of a Manheim woman.
According to police, 31-year-old Jeremy J. Morant of the 2600 block of Northfield Drive, was found guilty by jury after a three-day trial back in October of 2022. Morant was found guilty of selling fentanyl that led to the death of 26-year-old Brittany Zimmerman on Feb. 20, 2021.
Morant apologized to the victim’s and his own family and stated that he dealt with addiction issues himself, police say.
“Heroin and fentanyl are killing people in droves,” First Assistant District Attorney Todd Brown countered. “We can’t lose the fact a life was lost. A mother was lost. A daughter was lost.”
Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright sentenced Morant to seven to 20 years in prison on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
According to police, Judge Wright let Morant spend the holiday with his family, but also mentioned that Morant’s previous drug convictions acted as a motivation to start his sentence at eight-and-a-half years.
The judge then stated that since Morant followed all orders and showed up in a timely fashion for his punishment, his sentence would begin at seven years, which was the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, police say.
At the time of Zimmerman’s death, Morant was living at an Econo Lodge hotel that was located near the Classic Inn on Lincoln Highway East, where Zimmerman died. Morant had arranged a fentanyl transaction with Zimmerman at the time, police say.
According to police, on Feb. 20, 2021, East Lampeter Township Police responded to the Classic Inn around 11:00 a.m. for the report of cardiac arrest. The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office pronounced Zimmerman deceased at 12:23 p.m., after life-saving measures were taken. The cause of death was deemed to be acute fentanyl toxicity.
The defense argued that the fentanyl, which toxicology reports showed was approximately three times the lethal limit, could’ve been provided to the victim from someone other than Morant, police say.
“There’s no evidence that Brittany received fentanyl from anyone but the defendant,” Brown said during the trial. “The defendant agreed to deliver fentanyl to Brittany and ultimately that fentanyl killed her.”
The jury deliberated for around 40 minutes before they reached their guilty verdict, police say.
The Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission has a brochure that can provide important resources to anyone who may be struggling with drug addiction.
East Lampeter Township Police Detective Christopher Jones filed charges, testified, and attended the entirety of trial.