CONCORD, N.H. >> A man accused of giving a 17-year-old girl a powerful painkiller that caused her death at a New Hampshire motel is scheduled to plead guilty Monday in federal court.
Mark Ross, 42, of Rochester, is charged in the death of Evangelique "Eve" Tarmey. She died in a Rochester motel of acute fentanyl intoxication in October.
"It's hard to cope with. It really is. It's still difficult," said Tracy Marshall, whose son, David, had been dating Tarmey for two years. "She had a beautiful smile. She had a beautiful personality. She treated our family wonderfully. She was just a really sweet girl. It's hard to believe that something like this could happen to her."
In an agreement with prosecutors, Ross is to plead guilty to distributing a controlled substance to a person under 21 with death resulting. A second similar charge was dropped.
The agreement supports a 20-year prison sentence, avoiding the maximum punishment of life in prison. A judge would need to approve the deal.
A co-defendant, Leslie Aberle, initially pleaded not guilty to the same charges. She is scheduled to change her plea Monday. A plea agreement has not been filed in her case.
Jazzmyn Rood, who is Tarmey's mother and Ross' girlfriend, is charged with concealing knowledge and giving false information to police. She has pleaded not guilty and faces trial in September.
The cases originated in state court before being transferred to federal court, where the potential penalties are more severe.
A Rochester police detective testified in state court last year that Ross said that he, Aberle and Tarmey drove to Massachusetts to buy heroin. Tarmey had planned to meet up with her boyfriend there, but he didn't show.
The detective testified that Ross said the three returned to the Rochester motel, and he and Aberle injected themselves with heroin before he injected Rood. Ross told police Tarmey was upset about not seeing her boyfriend, and that Aberle gave Ross what he said he thought was heroin "to shut her up." He said Tarmey took the drug, he fell asleep, and he later awoke to find her dead.