The first day of what is expected to be a four-day trial got underway Tuesday in the case of a Ferrysburg man charged in the drug-related death of a Grand Haven woman.
Scott Allen DeBruyn, 56, is charged with supplying drugs causing the death of 23-year-old Camille Gesiakowski in the April 12, 2017, incident. Gesiakowski died that day, the result of “mixed drug toxicity,” according to the medical examiner.
The manner of death was “accidental,” assistant public defender Christine Tober pointed out in her opening statement in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Tober cautioned the jury panel made up almost evenly of men and women to pay attention to every tiny detail before making a decision as to whether or not her client was responsible for Gesiakowski’s death.
That was after prosecuting attorney John Scheuerle outlined the case that he said witnesses would lay out against DeBruyn. Scheuerle said that testimony would show communications between DeBruyn and Gesiakowski for a couple of days before her release from jail, and that DeBruyn picked up Gesiakowski from the jail and took her to his house.
Gesiakowski was taken home by her sister at some point, and then picked up again by DeBruyn, who took her back to his West Spring Lake Road home and then to the Baymont Inn on South Beacon Boulevard in Grand Haven.
Scheuerle said testimony and evidence will also show that DeBruyn made several trips to Walmart to purchase items, including several cans of duster, for Gesiakowski. Scheuerle said there would also be testimony about messages made regarding an illegal purchase of oxycodone for the woman. Police gave immunity to the two people involved in that drug transaction in exchange for their testimony.
Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Dana Beekman was the first to take the stand early Tuesday afternoon. She said she was the first officer on the scene after a motel employee called 911 and said there was an unresponsive woman in one of the rooms. DeBruyn was outside smoking a cigarette when she arrived, Beekman said.
The officer said that when she went into the motel room, Gesiakowski was cold to the touch and obviously deceased.
Beekman noted that officers eventually collected four empty duster cans, some beer cans and other items from the room.
Also taking the stand on Tuesday were toxicologists Matthew McMullin of a Pennsylvania laboratory and Dr. Benedict Kuslikis, director of toxicology for Spectrum Health.
McMullin testified about the level of difluoroethane (a colorless gas used as a refrigerant) that was found in the blood sample taken from Gesiakowski.
Kuslikis talked about the combination of drugs found in a blood sample and how the combination and amounts means “we have a disaster.” In response to questioning, he said that Gesiakowski’s eight months in jail would have lowered her tolerance to any opioids, in contrast to someone who was consuming the drugs regularly.
The toxicologists, as well as medical examiners Matthew Carr and David Start, agreed that the oxycodone found in her blood was a "significant" contributor to her death.
The trial was scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday in front of Judge Karen Miedema.