Grand Haven Tribune: Decision delayed following drug death hearing

Decision delayed following drug death hearing

Becky Vargo • Jun 12, 2019 at 7:00 AM

A Spring Lake man charged with delivering a controlled substance that caused a local woman’s death will have to wait a few more days to see if his case is moved up to the Circuit Court level.

Scott Allen DeBruyn, 56, remains lodged in the Ottawa County Jail following the second day of a preliminary examination into the April 12, 2017, death of 23-year-old Camille Gesiakowski of Grand Haven. At the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Scheuerle asked Ottawa County District Judge Craig Bunce to move the case to the Circuit Court.

Public defender Christine Tober disputed the action.

“I don’t think they met the elements of the delivery portion” of the charge,” she said.

Bunce said he would take the case under advisement so that he can review the testimony from the first day of the hearing, which took place last week.

Representatives from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety took the witness stand during Tuesday’s hearing.

Officer Dana Beekman testified that she was the first one to arrive at the Baymont Inn after the 6:36 a.m. call. Beekman said that she met DeBruyn, who was in the parking lot having a cigarette, and they went to the motel room where the officer noted the victim lying on the bed with no sign of life.

Detective Bryan Tithof testified that he went to the motel shortly after officers arrived. He said evidence collected at the time included four empty cans of “duster,” which he testified was used for huffing.

The court then watched a video of the interview that Tithof conducted with DeBruyn this past April 17, a little more than two years after the incident. During the two-hour-long interview, DeBruyn claims over and over again that he never gave Gesiakowski any pills.

An autopsy report, discussed during the first phase of the preliminary examination, revealed that Gesiakowski’s death was likely the result of “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 testified at last week’s preliminary examination that he used a toxicology report to determine that opioids, and mainly the oxycodone, “probably played the most significant role in her death.”

DeBruyn, in the video interview, said he picked up Gesiakowski from jail on a Friday, stopped at the store and bought some “duster,” and went to his home. Gesiakowski’s sister picked her up later that day.

On Sunday, DeBruyn said he and Gesiakowski were at his house when her father pulled into the driveway and was honking the horn. The two called a taxi and went to the Baymont Inn to get away from him.

According to Tithof, DeBruyn continued to purchase more duster for Gesiakowski and worked hard to obtain pills that he said she requested.

Following a lot of prodding, DeBruyn eventually admitted that he purchased about five pills, that he thought were Norco, from Lona Daniels. He also said he might have taken a couple of the pills, but he never gave them to Gesiakowski.

DeBruyn also asked Tithof several times during the interview how the detective was going to prove that he gave Gesiakowski pills.

“You don’t have any evidence,” DeBruyn said. “It’s their word against mine,” he said of the witnesses who testified about selling him Percocet pills that weekend.

The victim’s father, Blake Gesiakowski, who attended part of the hearing, declined to comment on the case before it was over, other than the following: “Our family is still very devastated from the loss of Camille,” he said.

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