Oct. 7—LIMA — DeJuan Lucas was sentenced Thursday to 18 1/2 years in prison following his conviction last month by an Allen County jury on a dozen felony charges — including involuntary manslaughter for providing the drugs that were responsible for the overdose death of a Lima resident Dino Gerdeman last year.
Gerdeman's body was found by police inside a room at the Travelodge motel in Lima in the early morning hours of May 27, 2020. Dr. Jeffrey Hudson, a forensic pathologist with the Lucas County Coroners Office testified that Gerdeman's blood contained twice the amount of fentanyl that is considered lethal.
Testimony during the trial revealed that it was Lucas who provided the drugs found in the 59-year-old Gerdeman's system.
Judge Terri Kohlrieser said she did not believe Lucas intended for anyone to die when he sold drugs to 19-year-old Keo'landa Peoples-Fuqua, who was sent by Gerdeman to purchase cocaine for his birthday party at the Lima motel, according to trial testimony.
Gerdeman was not without blame for choices he made that led to his death, Kohlrieser said, but she noted Lucas' history of selling drugs laced with fentanyl was a factor in her sentencing decision.
"It drives me nuts when people say 'it was just drugs'," the judge said. "Well fentanyl is killing people every day. There's a reason trafficking is illegal. Drugs bring death, and you were putting this poison out into the community. There are consequences for the choices we make," Kohlrieser told Lucas.
She sentenced Lucas to six years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge and to eight years for the possession of heroin. Lucas received an 18-month sentence on the possession of a fentanyl-related compound charge and 12-months sentences on three remaining drug charges. Other counts merged for purposes of sentencing.
Kohlrieser ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, for the aggregate 18 1/2 -year term.
Peoples-Fuqua was sentenced last month to 18 months in prison for her role in Gerdeman's death.