WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 16-year-old Lillian Anderson of Westfield died from a heroin overdose in early February. The man accused of selling her the heroin, 22-year-old Seth Lombard-Hawthorne, has now been indicted on a charge of Involuntary Manslaughter.
This is the 2nd time that the District Attorney’s office has charged an alleged heroin dealer with manslaughter in an overdose death. Daryl Wojtowicz of Springfield was charged with the overdose death of 33-year-old Kaitlyn Leonard of Ludlow earlier this month.
Westfield Police Sgt. Steve Dickinson told 22News that it’s not easy connecting an alleged drug dealer to a victim; “We collect the evidence, cell phones, etc., and we process the scene and investigate as much as we can.”
However, evidence can be extremely limiting. Anderson’s overdose death was 1 of 3 in 6 days. Sgt. Steve Dickinson said there haven’t been other multiple overdoses since then, but the heroin’s still out there.
Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan said getting dealers off the street is crucial to preventing more deaths. He said, “They should be accountable for what they’re doing with the selling of the drugs. They’re part of the problem. It’s just like loaded guns and everything else. We’re losing too many people right now.”
Mayor Sullivan said the focus now is on education about the dangers of prescription drugs, which can be a gateway for heroin. He’s using a nearby hospital and the school system to educate everyone, especially kids.
Sullivan added that he’ll continue to use these resources to educate the public and reduce the addiction crisis in his city.