Oil City Woman Sentenced to Up to Five Years in State Prison in Drug-Related Death of Oil City Man

| January 28, 2020

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – An Oil City woman was sentenced to up to five years in state prison on Monday in connection to the drug-related death of an Oil City man.

According to court documents, Judge Robert L. Boyer sentenced 36-year-old Carina Dee Warnick to a minimum of 30 months up to a maximum of 60 months in state prison on Monday, January 27, on one felony count of Criminal Conspiracy Engaging – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver.

Court documents indicate Warnick pleaded guilty to the above charge on December 12, 2019.

As a result of the plea agreement, the following charges were dismissed:

– Drug Delivery Resulting In Death, Felony 1
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3
– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Involuntary Manslaughter, Misdemeanor 1
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Criminal Conspiracy Engaging – Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor

According to court documents, Warnick previously entered a guilty plea on a first-degree misdemeanor charge of Involuntary Manslaughter on May 20, 2019. That plea was withdrawn on September 13, 2019.

The charges stem from the overdose death of a 30-year-old male. Emergency responders were dispatched to 337 Allegheny Avenue in Oil City on November 9, 2018, for a man who was suffering a cardiac arrest caused by a drug overdose. He was transported to UPMC Erie where he died in January of this year.

Warnick is currently lodged in the Venango County Jail awaiting a transfer to a state correctional facility.

Details of the Warnick’s case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 12:14 p.m. on November 9, 2018, Ptlm. Culp copied a 9-1-1 response to a residence on Allegheny Avenue for a report of a 30-year-old male with seizure activity. Ptlm. Culp was familiar with the address, where another overdose had occurred on October 10, 2018, and believed a possibility existed that the medical emergency may be controlled substance related.

At the Scene

At the scene, Ptlm. Ragon spoke with a known female, who is well-known to law enforcement for her long-term involvement in the sale and distribution of controlled substances, who indicated she was living in the attic of the residence. The woman is also a relative and known associate of Carina Warnick.

Ptlm. Culp arrived at the scene and spoke to the current tenant of the residence, Jesika McLaughlin. During the conversation, a ZTE smartphone lying nearby awoke multiple times, displaying notifications for incoming communications, one of which was a message from “Shell” stating “Figure it out.” When Ptlm. Culp asked McLaughlin about the phone, she stated that it did not belong to her and belonged to “someone else who was there” during the events that occurred leading to the 9-1-1 call but was reluctant to give a name, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, when asked who it was, McLaughlin stated “I don’t want to get them in trouble,” and when asked why they would be in trouble, she had no reply.

Around 1:46 p.m. on November 9, Ptlm. Culp contacted UPMC Northwest Emergency Department to check on the victim and was informed that the victim was alive and in critical condition and would require extensive care and treatment. He was also informed that urine testing indicated the presence of methamphetamine and opiates in the victim’s system.

Interview with McLaughlin

Pltm. Culp conducted an interview with McLaughlin at the Oil City Police Department around 1:54 p.m.

According to the complaint, McLaughlin said she believed a known male had originally dialed 9-1-1 on the cell phone but said that she spoke with the dispatcher and both she and the known male had gone back and forth with the phone and performing CPR. When asked how long they waited before calling 9-1-1, McLaughlin stated it was approximately five minutes as they attempted to treat the victim themselves, but nothing worked.

The complaint notes McLaughlin continued to indicate the phone did not belong to her and belonged to a friend whose name she did not want to give.

When Ptlm Culp questioned her further about the message he had seen displayed, McLaughlin said she was not even sure where the known male had retrieved the phone from to make the 9-1-1 call, according to the complaint.

Information from the Victim’s Wife

On November 11, Ptlm. Culp received a phone call from the wife of the victim who reported that she suspected he had fallen back into drug use and noted that various items around their home had recently come up missing, some of which she reported as stolen.

According to the complaint, the victim’s wife also said the victim had been taking money from her bank account, which caused her to change her online banking passwords and set up notifications for any account activity, and on the morning of the overdose incident, she received an alert on her account for a withdrawal at the PNC ATM located at the Country Fair on Spring Street for $161.75. She suspected it was her husband.

Call from Venango County Jail

On November 14, McLaughlin placed a call through the Securus System at the Venango County Jail to her mother.

According to the complaint, as they were discussing the case, McLaughlin said, “They are saying that I delivered him what he overdosed on” and went on to say “It wasn’t even mine, like there was somebody else in my house that sold him the sh** and they left because he overdosed.” McLaughlin also stated “They have the person’s phone” and said “I didn’t tell them any of that. I didn’t need to, they already knew.”

Evidence Ties it All Together

On November 22, a search warrant for the discussed ZTE smartphone seized from McLaughlin’s home was applied for and granted.

On November 23, Ptlm. Culp followed up at the Country Fair location and reviewed video footage from the date and time the withdrawal was made from the victim’s wife’s account.

According to the complaint, the video footage showed the victim at the ATM making a withdrawal in the amount of $160.00.

The complaint notes a forensic extraction of the ZTE smartphone seized from McLaughlin’s home was also completed by Ptlm. Rembold on November 23. An examination of the data contained on the phone from November 9 revealed communications between McLaughlin and identified Carina Dee Warnick as the owner of the phone, the complaint states.

In a series of messages sent around 8:48 a.m. on November 9, McLaughlin says to Warnick “Hey need a half Maybe a whole,” “Like asap,” “Need a g 160,” “On a time limit,” and additional messages of the same nature.

According to the complaint, around 11:06 a.m., Warnick sent a message to “Shell,” identified as the known female Pltm. Ragon spoke to at the scene, “IDK where it goes I’m at Jesses,” and the last communication between McLaughlin and Warnick is an unanswered call at 11:15 a.m., indicating they were now person to person.

Based on the investigation, Warnick was arraigned on December 17, in Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish’s office.

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