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December 19, 2014

Woman faces manslaughter charge in 2013 overdose death

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Montana Rose Gossett

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 5:38 pm | Updated: 9:45 pm, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

A former Weaver woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of manslaughter for allegedly selling a woman illegal drugs that led to her overdose death, police say.  

A Calhoun County grand jury on May 5 indicted Montana Rose Gossett, 49, formerly of Weaver, charging her with manslaughter in the July 2013 death of Heather Rutkowski, 31, also of Weaver, according to court records.

On July 18, 2013, Weaver police found Rutkowski unresponsive in her bed at her home on the 400 block of Anniston Beach Road, according to a press release from Weaver police. She was declared dead at the scene.

Family members told police that Rutkowski had purchased morphine patches from Gossett, who lived in the same mobile home park as Rutkowski, the release states.  

Police found evidence of a Fentanyl patch use  at the home, according to the release, and family members told police Rutkowski had been “chewing on the patches the previous night.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic medication used to treat chronic pain.

Gossett was questioned and later charged with distribution of a controlled substance, a felony, the release states.  

Autopsy results showed that Rutkowski died from an overdose of Fentanyl, the release states.

Police later found Gossett living in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and brought her back to Calhoun County where she was arrested Monday.

The grand jury indictment states that Gossett “recklessly caused the death of Heather Rutkowski by selling her illegal narcotics.”

Sheila Field, the Calhoun County assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute the case, said by phone Wednesday that she had not received the file on Gossett yet and was unsure of the details of the case.

Reached for comment Wednesday, Gossett’s attorney, Doug Ghee, said he does not comment on pending cases.

Due to her unspecified medical conditions, Gossett  was ordered by a Calhoun County judge to remain under house arrest at her home on the 400 block of Eden Acres Lane in Pell City, court records show.

Gossett’s arraignment is scheduled for July 24.

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