POTTSTOWN, Pa. - A 32-year-old Pottstown man has been arrested on the criminal homicide charge of drug delivering resulting in death, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller and Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath.
Ronald Purvis' charge is a felony that could result in a sentence of up to 40 years , similar to the penalty of third-degree murder. He is also charged with involuntary manslaughter, possession with intent to deliver, recklessly endangering another person, hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstruction of justice, and tampering with evidence and abuse of corpse.
On March 30, police responded to an East High Street apartment to find a deceased male, 29-year-old Kevin High of Sanatoga, Pennsylvania, lying at the bottom of a stairway inside the apartment building.
An investigation revealed that Kevin High arrived at Purvis' apartment in the afternoon on March 29, where Purvis gave him 'a baggie from a drawer in the living room, which usually contained heroin, and the contents of a metal container, which usually contained methamphetamine.'
After High ingested both, it was clear he showed signs of distress. Purvis and a neighbor carried High into the hallway of the apartment building where he later died.
According to a report from the Office of the District Attorney in Montgomery County, the investigation also revealed that Purvis destroyed videotapes and other evidence intentionally, before calling police.
An autopsy by the coroner's office determined High's cause of death was due to combined drug intoxication by methamphetamine and synthetic opioids.
"Rather than call 911, the defendant carried the overdosing man out into the hallway of the apartment building, went shopping and left him to die," District Attorney Kevin Steele said in the news release. "I cannot say this enough: dealers peddling their poison should think twice about doing so in Montgomery County because if someone dies and we can prove it was from the drugs you provided to them, you are on the hook for homicide."
Purvis was arraigned Sept. 27 with bail set at $500,000. He could not post bail and remains at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 11.
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