Man Who Hid Overdose Victim in Basement in Trash Bags Gets Sentenced to Jail

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
February 20, 2019USshare
Man Who Hid Overdose Victim in Basement in Trash Bags Gets Sentenced to Jail
A drug user in an undated file photo. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

An Ohio man who tried hiding the body of a woman who overdosed in his basement was sentenced to six years in prison.

Andrew Nichols took the body and wrapped it in trash bags and duct tape before stashing it in his basement.

It remained there for nearly six weeks before the landlord found it on April 16, 2018.

Nichols, 33, was sentenced to prison on Feb. 19 for involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse, and trafficking in cocaine after a jury convicted him on Jan. 22 of all counts, reported The Columbus Dispatch.

Nichols could have been sentenced to as many as 24 years in prison. His defense lawyer said he made a mistake after panicking.

During the sentencing hearing, Nichols apologized to the family of Hanna Geiger, the 20-year-old who overdosed in his rented house.

“I’m truly sorry for what took place,” he said. “I’d give anything to take it back and do the right thing.”

In addition to stashing the body, Nichols told officers that he abandoned her car on a street away from his house and threw her purse, cellphone, and drug paraphernalia into the trash outside of a gas station.

Nichols said that his wife returned from a trip to California about a week after he hid the body and claimed she helped him wrap it up further.

Angela Nichols, who now lives in Pennsylvania, is set to appear in court later in February on charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Drug Overdose Deaths Hit More Than 71,500 in 2017

Fueled by the opioid crisis—particularly the flood of powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl from China—drug overdose deaths increased by at least 6.6 percent in 2017, according to provisional data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 71,500 Americans died of a drug overdose, with at least 68 percent of those deaths attributed to opioids.

Both numbers are increases over the 64,000 deaths in 2016, of which almost two-thirds were opioid-related.

Nebraska, North Carolina, and New Jersey had the largest increases in overdose deaths, up by 33 percent, 22 percent, and 21 percent, respectively.

NTD Photo
Medical workers in Warren, Ohio, take away a woman who has overdosed on heroin, the second case in a matter of minutes, on July 14, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The states with the most overdose deaths were Pennsylvania, Florida, and California, which had more than 5,000 deaths each.

Ohio, another hard-hit state, saw an uptick in deaths in 2017, but not as marked as had been predicted from the disturbing trend at the beginning of the year.

In Columbus, Ohio, the coroner saw a 66 percent spike in overdose deaths at the beginning of 2017, according to the Justice Department.

Fentanyl seemed to be the culprit in the spike. In Montgomery County, Ohio, 99 of the first 100 accidental overdoses in 2017 included fentanyl.

Father issues warning after son found dead
Drug paraphernalia is found on a man overdosing in Ohio in a file photo. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

However, overdoses tapered off, and, although Ohio had a 9.3 percent increase in deaths over the previous year, the number was lower than initially predicted. According to the CDC’s provisional numbers, the state had 4,925 overdose deaths in 2017.

Eighty percent of new heroin users started their addiction through prescription pills. Fentanyl is often mixed in with heroin and black market pain pills, making them more deadly. Fentanyl was originally developed as a painkiller and an anesthetic and is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl is a lethal dose for a non-opioid user.

Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.

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