Woman testifies she sold narcotic to SL man charged in drug death

Becky Vargo • Jun 6, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Lona Daniels cried as she blamed herself for selling prescription drugs to a Spring Lake man, which she said possibly resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Grand Haven-area woman.

Daniels, of the Indianapolis area, testified during a preliminary examination Wednesday morning in Ottawa County District Court that she sold 40 oxycodone pills to Scott Allen DeBruyn, 56, in early April 2017. The former Grand Haven woman admitted to prosecuting attorney John Scheurele and defense attorney Phil Sielski that, in exchange for her testimony, she would not be charged with selling drugs.

“I feel bad,” she said while on the witness stand in the Grand Haven courtroom. “I feel like it is my fault. If I hadn’t sold it to him, I feel like (the death) wouldn’t have happened.”

Detectives from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety arrested DeBruyn on April 17, 2017, following a lengthy investigation into the death of 23-year-old Camille Gesiakowski of Grand Haven Township five days earlier, according to Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke.

The Grand Haven Tribune obtained a transcript of the probable-cause statement, which is used to obtain an arrest warrant, shortly after DeBruyn’s arrest. During that hearing, Detective Bryan Tithof of the Grand Haven department told Judge Craig Bunce that police responded to the Baymont Inn, 1500 S. Beacon Blvd., at 6:36 a.m. April 12 and found Gesiakowski unresponsive. DeBruyn was there and told police that the woman had been “huffing” the previous night and he did not believe that she was alive.

The transcript said that DeBruyn told detectives that he picked up Gesiakowski on April 7, after she was released from jail. She went home with family members for the weekend, before DeBruyn sent a taxi for her the following Sunday evening.

According to the transcript, DeBruyn was with her all day Monday and Tuesday. He told police that Gesiakowski was using “duster” throughout that time. Video surveillance obtained from a local store showed DeBruyn purchasing “multiple cans of duster” between April 7 and 11.

An autopsy revealed that Gesiakowski died from “mixed toxicity.” The woman’s oxycodone limits were well above “the referenced range of 40 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).

Medical examiner Dr. Matthew Carr, who testified at the preliminary examination, said he used a toxicology report to determine that opioids, and mainly the oxycodone, “probably played the most significant role in her death.”

In the probable-cause warrant, Tithof testified that Gesiakowski had no access to oxycodone in jail and that she had no other means to get the drug than from DeBruyn, who was with her “the entire time up to her death supplying her with duster, alcohol and oxycodone pills.”

Daniels, who said she knew DeBruyn through her son, testified Wednesday that DeBruyn contacted her that April 2017 weekend seeking pills.

Daniels’ boyfriend, who also testified Wednesday, had a prescription for Percocet. The couple agreed to sell 40 of his pills to DeBruyn for $400. They traveled from Indianapolis to Spring Lake to make the sale.

Dr. Benedict Kuslikis, director of the Spectrum Health toxicology lab, testified Wednesday to answer questions about toxicology tests conducted by his staff.

The preliminary examination is scheduled to continue next Tuesday morning. Tithof and Grand Haven public safety officer Dana Beekman are expected to testify at that time.

Sielski would not comment on whether or not DeBruyn would be questioned.

In the meantime, DeBruyn is lodged in the Ottawa County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

DeBruyn’s criminal history in Ottawa County includes disorderly conduct in Ferrysburg in 2012, a stalking conviction in Ferrysburg in 2013, a drunken driving conviction in Grand Haven in 2015 and a conviction for failure to stop at a property damage accident in 2016. His most recent conviction was for prohibited uses of chemical agents in Grand Haven Township in September 2016.

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