Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Kent man pleads guilty to controlled substance charge

Initially faced controlled substance homicide charge after Seattle man died from a drug overdose

  • Wednesday, May 3, 2023 4:55pm
  • News

A 40-year-old man recently pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to a controlled substance charge reduced from a controlled substance homicide charge.

Kelly Dean Krstich pleaded guilty April 26. Judge Marshall Ferguson will oversee Krstich’s sentencing hearing on May 12. Krstich remains in custody, from a Sept. 7, 2022 booking, in the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $499,000.

Seattle Police initially arrested Krstich in Kent on Dec. 4, 2018 on a homicide charge after a 33-year-old Seattle man died from an overdose on Feb. 24, 2018 after exchanging his prescribed Xanax for fentanyl with Krstich.

According to the Washington State Legislature, a “person who unlawfully delivers a controlled substance ... (which) is subsequently used by the person to whom it was delivered, resulting in the death of the user, is guilty of controlled substances homicide.”

Screenshots of text messages exchanged between Krstich and the 33-year-old man demonstrated the two exchanging Xanax for fentanyl, according to court documents.

Prosecutors filed a felony charge of controlled substance homicide against Krstich on Dec. 9, 2019.

Krstich pleaded not guilty to the charge at his arraignment hearing on May 14, 2020.

Prior to facing a jury trial, Krstich accepted a plea deal reducing the severity of the charge to a violation of the uniform controlled substances act for the delivery of fentanyl.

The prosecuting attorney will make a recommendation of a seven-year sentence for the charge at Krstich’s sentencing hearing as part of his plea deal.

As part of his plea deal, Krstich also pleaded guilty to charges from two separate cases.

He pleaded guilty to charges of residential burglary and second-degree assault in regards to a May 2018 case; and guilty to charges of third-degree assault, attempting to elude police vehicle, and possession of a stolen vehicle in regards to a May 2020 case.

Prosecutors also reduced the severity of charges from the May 2018 and May 2020 case as part of the plea agreement.

According to his plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend Krstich serve the seven-year sentence concurrently with the sentences of the May 2018 and May 2020 cases, resulting in a total sentence of seven years in prison for all three cases.

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