“How does a 52-year-old guy get to be with a 23-year-old woman who looks like this,” assistant prosecuting attorney John Scheuerle demanded while holding up a picture of the late Camille Gesiakowski to the jury.
“He was obsessed with her,” Scheuerle said of defendant Scott Allen DeBruyn, during closing arguments in DeBruyn’s trial in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
The prosecutor said that the defendant was selfishly and narcissistically willing “to supply the drugs to keep her in his clutches.”
DeBruyn, now 56, faces possible life in prison for his conviction by jury on a charge of supplying controlled substances causing death. His sentencing date has been set for Nov. 18 in front of Judge Karen Miedema.
“It took him five days to kill her,” Scheuerle said of the five days that the Grand Haven woman lived after being released from the Ottawa County Jail on April 7, 2017.
“After two years of work” with Detective Bryan Tithof and Capt. Joe Boyle, both of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, “it took us five days to convict him,” Scheuerle said
Gesiakowski died April 12, 2017, the result of a mixed toxicology of drugs, according to doctors and a toxicologist who testified during the trial. She had just finished serving eight months in jail for a probation violation on a domestic violence charge.
“When she walked out the door of that jail, she didn’t stand a chance,” Scheuerle said. “He got his hooks into her within 23 minutes.”
During the trial, the prosecution laid out the case showing that Gesiakowski had a long history of huffing and drug addiction. She had an eight-year relationship with DeBruyn’s son, before a co-dependent relationship was established with Scott DeBruyn. DeBruyn and Gesiakowski lived together for an unestablished amount of time before Gesiakowski went to jail. While in jail, she communicated with DeBruyn.
Testimony during the trial centered on communications during her last few days in jail in which DeBruyn repeatedly told her he wanted to pick her up and she kept asking for “Oxies.” DeBruyn did pick her up from jail, and within a short time was supplying her with duster (used to get high from huffing) and alcohol. Testimony showed that he eventually obtained oxycodone from friends who were given immunity for their testimony.
The medical examiner’s report showed that Gesiakowski, who died after spending a couple of days in a motel room with DeBruyn, succumbed to a combination of drugs that included oxycodone, fluoxetine (anti-depressant), tramadol and difluorethane (duster). Two doctors testified that oxycodone was the most significant factor.
Defense attorney Christine Tober argued that Gesiakowski’s death could have been caused by the duster, causing an arrhythmia; or from serotonin syndrome, caused by a combination of tramadol and fluoxetine. She also argued that there was not enough evidence to show that DeBruyn had actually supplied oxycodone to Gesiakowski.
Tober also noted, during her closing argument, that the older man and younger woman had a complicated relationship, but that DeBruyn really wanted to help her.
“Should Scott DeBruyn have given her duster?” Tober asked. “Probably not. But is it against the law? He was just trying to make her happy.”
Gesiakowski’s family members cried and then smiled after the verdict.
“The Gesiakowski family would like to thank GHDPS Detective Bryan Tithof, the prosecutor’s office and their staff,” said Camille’s father, Blake. “We now know that the Tri-Cities area is a safer community with this decision. We want to think our daughter didn’t die in vain, that this won’t happen to someone else’s daughter. Camille had a big heart, but she had struggles within herself."
“She loved life," said her sister, Celia Gesiakowski. "She really made the world brighter — when she wasn’t with him,” referring to DeBruyn. “She hated him,” Celia said of DeBruyn. “She said he creeped her out.”
“He was the only one who would feed the demon that she fought,” said Camille’s friend, Patrick Bridges.
DeBruyn’s sisters and other family members and friends, in attendance throughout the trial, declined to comment after the verdict was given.
Tober also declined comment.