Westlake Village man arrested on drug charges
Under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms he allegedly sold, a teenage girl wandered naked onto the Ventura Freeway in 2004 and was fatally hit by a car.
By Scott Glover January 23, 2009
A Westlake Village man was arrested on federal drug charges Thursday for allegedly selling hallucinogenic mushrooms to a group of young people, including a 17-year-old girl who was fatally struck by a car after she ingested the drugs, stripped naked and wandered onto the Ventura Freeway.
Steven Thomas Roman, 30, is charged with distribution of narcotics for allegedly selling the drugs to the youths in a Thousand Oaks condominium complex August 14, 2004.
That evening, the victim, Victoria "Ti" Nugent, consumed two handfuls of the drugs, commonly called "shrooms," while partying with four friends, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court.
After leaving the condo complex, Nugent and a friend went to her family home, where they intended to have a sleepover. But after taking the drugs, the girls were "bored" and "wide awake" and decided to go for a walk about 2:30 a.m., according to an affidavit by FBI Agent Eric Jensen, which was filed along with the complaint. By the time they arrived unannounced at another friend's house a short time later, Nugent had shed her top.
Nugent's friends would later tell authorities that she was "all riled up" and "just going crazy," Jensen stated.
"I know the meaning of life," the teenager proclaimed at one point, according to her friends, the court papers show.
Concerned about Nugent's behavior, her friends tried to lock her in a room in the house she'd just gone to visit. But she made her way outside and climbed onto a van parked on the street, Jensen said.
The friend who had taken the drugs with Nugent said that she herself was "kinda hallucinating" and "seeing colors and waviness" when Nugent was atop the van and that that was the last she saw of Nugent, according to the affidavit.
About 3 a.m., Lloyd Davis, a musician, was headed home to Van Nuys from a gig in Santa Barbara. He was driving about 65 to 70 mph on the Ventura Freeway when a naked young woman appeared in his lane. There was no time to stop, he would later tell authorities.
Nugent was killed on impact.
Davis was cleared of any wrongdoing.
An autopsy found the active ingredients of mushrooms and marijuana in Nugent's system, court papers state.
Shortly after her death, two of the friends who helped arrange for Roman to deliver the drugs pleaded guilty to state charges of providing a controlled substance to a minor, the affidavit states. Roman was arrested last year in an unrelated ecstasy case and admitted to investigators that he sold the mushrooms to two young men the night Nugent was killed.
Roman, who is expected to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles today, faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted. Neither Roman nor a lawyer who represented him in the earlier drug case could be reached for comment.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Edward E. Alon, one of the prosecutors in the case, declined to comment.
another casualty of the drug war...