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MAN CHARGED IN HEROIN DEATH OF MIDDLETOWN RESIDENT

Posted 5/26/16

Kenneth Clugston II       A Middletown man was charged with allegedly providing the heroin that    caused the death of a borough man on March 23.

     Middletown police on Monday, …

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MAN CHARGED IN HEROIN DEATH OF MIDDLETOWN RESIDENT

Posted

clugston6 1 16Kenneth Clugston II       A Middletown man was charged with allegedly providing the heroin that    caused the death of a borough man on March 23.

     Middletown police on Monday, May 23 filed charges – including drug    delivery resulting in death –  against Kenneth D. Clugston II, 45, of the    300 block of Elm Court. The charge carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison if Clugston is convicted, according to the state crimes code.

    Clugston told police that on the night of March 23 he sold two bags of    heroin for $20 to Jack Tillitson, 45, of the 200 block of E. High St.,      according to court documents filed by police with District Judge David    Judy.  

  Tillitson was found dead on the evening of March 23 by his mother.
  

   Police learned through the Dauphin County Coroner's office on Thursday,  May 19 that the cause of Tillitson's death was acute morphine toxicity, a ruling made by Dr. Wayne Ross, a forensic pathologist in Lancaster, according to court documents.

Clugston was already in Dauphin County Prison on unrelated charges when Middletown police charged him with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance for allegedly selling heroin on April 18 to a confidential informant used by the Dauphin County Drug Task Force, according to court records.

Clugston also faces DUI charges filed by Middletown police for two separate incidents, one that allegedly occurred on Aug. 28, 2014 and the other that allegedly occurred Oct. 25, 2014, according to court records. The DUI charges are pending in Dauphin County Court, according to court records.

Several bags of heroin, a syringe and what police called a “works kit’’ were laying on the bed next to Tillitson when his body was found by his mother, Nancy Tillitson, according to court documents.
Nancy Tillitson told police that her son had come home from work around 10 or 11 p.m. that night from his job as a dishwasher at an area restaurant, according to court documents.

Tillitson had recently come out of a drug rehab program and had been clean for five months, Nancy Tillitson told the Press And Journal in an interview on Wednesday, May 25. Jack Tillitson had been on drugs off and on for 30 years, his mother said. "This was the first time he made any progress at all with" staying clean for an extended period, Nancy Tillitson said. "I was so proud of him. He had gotten a job where he could walk to work."

Tillitson was known to have a heart condition, but Ross told police that no other medical diagnosis contributed to his death other than the acute morphine toxicity, according to court documents.

Nancy Tillitson told police that Clugston had called "several times" looking for her son the day before his death, according to court records. Police confirmed through caller identification on the phone that Clugston had called twice at around 1 p.m. the previous afternoon, court records said.

Clugston and Jack Tillitson had known each other since the second grade in elementary school, although Nancy Tillitson did not describe the two as being close friends during an interview with the Press And Journal.

According to  court records, Nancy told police that "the only time Kenny will bother with Jack is if he has some drugs to sell to Jack."

Police said they pulled Clugston over during a traffic stop on Wednesday, May 18 and arrested him in connection with the April 18 undercover drug buy. Clugston admitted selling the heroin to Tillitson, but allegedly told police that the two bags "should not have killed him," according to court documents. He contended that Tillitson died of a heart attack.

But a Middletown police officer told Clugston, “It is not the same as pointing a gun at someone and firing it, but the death was caused by what you gave him nonetheless,” according to court records.
Clugston was to be arraigned before Judy at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 26, on the charge of drug delivery resulting in death. He is also charged with using a cell phone to arrange selling the heroin to Tillitson, and of another felony charge of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, according to court records.

His bond was set at $150,000 as of May 26, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 27.

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