Two men found guilty of charges relating to the death of 3-year-old Logan Starliper
Two men were found guilty Thursday for their involvement in the death of a 3-year-old Greencastle girl in 2018.
Brian Bennett, 32, of Greencastle, was acquitted of third-degree murder, the most serious charge against him, but was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, in the death of Logan Starliper, his partner's daughter.
He was also found guilty of delivery of a controlled substance, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was acquitted of drug delivery resulting in death.
Thomas Keogh, 66, of Connecticut, was found guilty on all charges including drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility and corrupt organization.
The jury deliberated for four hours before announcing their verdicts to the courtroom.
The trial took place over nine days. Dozens of witnesses and nearly 500 exhibits were presented in the courtroom.
Defense attorney Michael Palermo, representing Bennett, and defense attorney David Cherundolo, representing Keogh, delivered their closing arguments Wednesday afternoon. District Attorney Matt Fogal wrapped up the trial with his statement Thursday morning.
Starliper's mother, Brittany Higgins, pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in December 2019. She was sentenced to 10-20 years in prison.
Starliper died of mixed-drug toxicity on Jan. 5, 2018, according to police. Methamphetamines, a stimulant known as meth, and buprenorphine, an opioid used to treat drug addiction, were found in the child’s system.
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Others charged in the case
Several more defendants in the case have previously filed pleas, including Larry Crawford, 50, of Waynesboro and Rodney Mower, 68, of Fayetteville.
Daniel Schultz, 46, of Waynesboro and Michael Gatrell, of Chambersburg, both pleaded guilty to the charges against them for their involvement in a meth ring linked to the 3-year-old's death. Gatrell died on June 10 at the age of 47.
After Starliper's death, Higgins told state police she kept her meth in a bag on the top shelf of a closet, where the kids could not get it, and kept her Suboxone (a type of buprenorphine medication) locked in a safe in their home at 43 W. Baltimore St., Unit B, according to court documents. She said Bennett kept his Subutex (another type of buprenorphine medication) on the stand next to the bed.
Bennett later told police he kept his meth on him, and he would use it when he could. Police also found drug paraphernalia during a search of the home and concluded it belonged to Bennett.
Higgins said she and Bennett had injected meth on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, court documents state.
They allegedly bought the meth they used on both days from Mower.
When police caught up with him for an interview, Mower admitted to coming to the pair's apartment and giving meth to them, court documents state.
Higgins and Bennett used their bedroom to prepare and inject the meth, Mower told police. He also said they placed a "baby gate" across the door to keep Starliper and another child out of the room.
Later investigations revealed a string of local dealers, including Schultz, Gatrell and Crawford, who received a meth package in the mail from Keogh, who lived multiple states away.
Bennett and Keogh's sentencing is scheduled to take place on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. where families and friends will have the opportunity to read victim impact statements.
A more in-depth look into the trial is coming soon.
Carley Bonk is a Watchdog Reporter for the USA Today Network - Pennsylvania. Her coverage spans across the southcentral region of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @carls_marie.