Man pleads guilty in drug case that resulted in girl's death (mushrooms)

By Phungushead · Apr 12, 2009 · Updated Apr 12, 2009 · ·
  1. Phungushead
    Westlake Village man pleads guilty in drug case that resulted in girl's death

    Charged with distributing drugs to minors that resulted in the death of 17-year-old Victoria “Tia” Nugent in 2004, a Westlake Village man changed his plea to guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

    Stephen Roman’s attorney told Judge Percy Anderson that his client’s goal in pleading guilty to the three charges was a prison sentence of 14 years. Roman, 30, was also charged with two counts of selling the drug Ecstasy to a police informant last year.

    Roman could have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum of 20 years imprisonment if convicted at trial. Roman was indicted on the three charges in January.

    Several times during the hearing in downtown Los Angeles, Anderson reiterated that the court will have final discretion in determining a sentence. “The court is free to exercise its discretion and can issue any sentence it deems appropriate for this offense,” Anderson told Roman. “The sentence imposed may ultimately be different from any estimate your lawyer might have given you.”

    Anderson also told Roman that he would serve time in prison.

    Roman will be sentenced on Aug. 3, days before the five-year anniversary of Nugent’s death.

    She had gathered with a group of young people at a pool in a Thousand Oaks apartment complex on Aug. 14, 2004. One of the teens called Roman to order psilocybin mushrooms. The Westlake Village man delivered a quarter of a pound of the hallucinogens.

    Nugent began acting in a bizarre manner after eating some of the mushrooms, prompting her friends to try to lock her in a room. She escaped and was struck by a car as she walked naked and disoriented along Highway 101 in Newbury Park.

    Outside the courtroom, Roman’s brother, Michael Roman, extended his family’s sympathy to the girl’s family.

    “Our deepest condolences go out to the Nugent family,” he said. “We believe in the justice system.”

    After the hearing, Roman’s attorney, Robert Sheahen, described his client as remorseful for his actions.

    “Steve was not a big time drug dealer,” Sheahen said. “But he recognizes the harm that resulted in this case, and he feels great remorse for his involvement. He will devote his life to making amends for any drug involvement he ever had.”

    By Teresa Rochester (contact)
    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    "Follow up of this article:"

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  1. sandoz1943
    What a sad story. SWIM wonders why they only charged the dealer and not the friends who should have been looking after her. He was just some guy looking to make a buck and they were her "friends" or Maybe they should charge the media and the goverment for not allowing her proper access to information and facts that may have kept her safe or allowed her friends to know how to handle the situation better or possibly help her to choose not to try them at all. It's a shame to see these stories. This site makes me happy to know some DFer might be saved from a similar fate by having access to the knowledge and facts needed to make such a life changing choice.
  2. EyesOfTheWorld
    Another reason why 17 year olds should not have access to massive quantities of powerful hallucinogenics, but Monkey agrees that the "friends" are at fault, not the dealer. He just wanted to make some money. Another arguement for being very careful who one sells to, when dealing with psychedelics.
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