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RANDOLPH TWP ? The boyfriend of a girl who died of a drug overdose at his Randolph home last March pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Nov. 16, to conspiring with the girl to buy heroin.
Capt. Jeffrey Paul, of the Morris County Prosecutor?s Office said on Friday that the boyfriend, Kevin A. Ritter, 19, entered his plea before Superior Court Judge John J. Harper in Morristown.
Ritter also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms during a traffic stop for alleged careless driving last December, Paul said.
Paul said that in exchange for his plea, Ritter is expected to receive probation when he is sentenced on Jan. 7. Under a plea arrangement, Ritter also will continue to get drug counseling through the ?Half Measures? program. He also will be fined at least $1,000 and will have to work 45 days in the Morris County Sheriff?s Labor Assistance Program.
Police Call Delayed
Ritter?s girlfriend, Samantha Dolan, a 16-year old Morristown High School junior, had been spending the night at Ritter?s Center Grove Road home when she became ill on March 5. By the time police were called the next morning, Dolan was unresponsive and transported to St. Clare?s Hospital in Dover for treatment. Her condition was irreversible, and she died the next day.
No criminal charges were brought against Ritter in connection with Dolan?s death, but an investigation by the Morris County Prosecutor?s Office revealed that the couple had driven to Newark on March 5 to purchase drugs. An unidentified person told police he had accompanied Ritter and Dolan to Newark and bought 10 bags of heroin for Dolan, using her money and at her request.
Paul said in exchange for his pleas Assistant Prosecutor Charles O?Connell had recommended the dismissal of two other charges, including receiving stolen property and theft of a credit card. The two charges were brought against Ritter last June by his parents, Alan and Melody Ritter, when Ritter allegedly stole their gold wedding bands and used their credit card to buy cigarettes.
O?Connell also recommended dismissal of a charge for possession of 50 grams of marijuana.
Dolan?s parents, Patrick and Lorraine Dolan of Morris Township, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ritter and his parents in July, claiming that their daughter had died as a result of the negligence of the Ritter family in not seeking immediate medical aid when the girl showed signs of severe distress.
At that time, the suit claims, Ritter had brought Dolan to a bedroom and left her alone for six hours before police were called.