Lebanon man gets 7 years for girlfriend’s death

Steven Lay was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for causing the death of his girlfriend. (Photo: Warren County Jail)
Steven Lay was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for causing the death of his girlfriend. (Photo: Warren County Jail)

LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Lebanon man was sentenced to prison for giving Fentanyl to his girlfriend, causing her death.

Steven Lay, 35, of Lebanon was sentenced to seven years in prison by Warren County Common Pleas Judge Robert Peeler, for causing the death of his girlfriend, Shawna Mitchell.

Lay pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, tampering with evidence, and two counts of child endangering.

Prosecutors say on April 19, 2016, Lay purchased heroin for $65.00 from a drug dealer in Middletown. He later admitted to Lebanon police detectives that he knew the heroin was Fentanyl. Toxicology reports later confirmed the dosage contained only Fentanyl.

Once home, he and Mitchell went to the bedroom to snort the drugs, leaving the couple’s 1-year-old child and Mitchell’s 10-year-old autistic child in the family room. After the two were finished using the drugs, Lay went to the bathroom and passed out. When he awoke, he discovered Mitchell’s unconscious body slumped over in the hallway.

Lay administered CPR for 10 to 15 minutes but he was unable to resuscitate Mitchell. He then put the remaining drugs in the toilet and hid the paraphernalia under the mattress before calling 911.

Lebanon Fire Department and Lebanon Police Department personnel arrived but were unable to revive Mitchell. She was declared dead at the scene.

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