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Manslaughter trial delayed in case of woman charged in death of her boyfriend

Member of jury pool said he knew the accused

November 29, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Chastity Dawn Kline
Chastity Dawn Kline

The manslaughter trial of a Smithsburg woman charged with the overdose death of her boyfriend was unexpectedly delayed Tuesday after a member of the jury pool announced in the courtroom that he knew her from his job at the Washington County Detention Center.

Chastity Dawn Kline, 34, of 12804 Bikle Road was scheduled for trial in Washington County Circuit Court on the manslaughter charge in the Feb. 3, 2011, death of Cody Lynn Delauter, 33, at his Williamsport home, according to charging documents filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

She is also charged with two counts each of distributing narcotics and administering narcotics.

Kline had entered a not guilty plea, and Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. had begun polling the potential jurors. Long had asked if any jurors knew Kline and received no response. He was asking another question when a juror stood up and said he knew Kline because he worked at the jail, according to Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael.

Although Kline was dressed in civilian clothes for the trial, she has been in jail since being charged in April.  Long continued the case because the information could have prejudiced a jury, Michael said.

The trial was rescheduled for Dec. 27, he said.

An autopsy determined that Delauter died of a mixed-drug overdose, with enough heroin and cocaine in his system that either drug alone could have caused his death, the charging documents said.

On Feb. 26, friends of Delauter told investigators that they loaned him $500 on Feb. 1 to pay a doctor to write prescriptions for painkillers and another $130 to purchase the medications, the documents said.

The friends told investigators that Kline told them she drove Delauter around to sell the prescription drugs and then buy other drugs with the money, the documents said.

The friends also told investigators that Kline informed them after Delauter’s memorial service on Feb. 13 that he had been “speed-balling” on Feb. 2, and that she injected him with a combination of heroin and cocaine, the documents said.

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