By Jess Hoogendoorn
A Piscataway man has been indicted for injecting a lethal dose of heroin into fellow Westminster Choir College (WCC) student Justin Warfield last fall.
Kieran Hunt, 20, was indicted on one count of strict liability for drug-induced death, which is a first-degree offense and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He also faces one count of distribution of a controlled substance on or near school property, which is a third-degree offense and carries a penalty of three to five years in prison, according to a June 30 Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office press release.
Hunt is currently free on $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is set for Sept. 12 in Mercer County Superior Court, according to Casey DeBlasio, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office.
However, this court date is still preliminary. Hunt’s defense attorney, John Hartmann, explained that everything is still being pieced together and he hasn’t seen all of the paperwork involved yet.
“It’s just a start,” Hartmann said. “You don’t even have to appear. You can waive the appearance.”
Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Doris M. Galuchie, who will be prosecuting Hunt, was on vacation and unavailable for comment.
Warfield, an 18-year-old freshman from Columbia, Md., was pronounced dead Oct. 17 at 6 a.m. upon arrival at the University Medical Center at Princeton. Allegedly, after classes on Oct. 16, Hunt traveled to Newark and purchased heroin. He returned later that day and met Warfield. The two went to Hunt’s vehicle, which was parked in the rear of Westminster’s D lot. Hunt allegedly prepared a bag of heroin for Warfield and injected it into Warfield’s arm using a syringe. Hunt then injected himself with an
According to the press release, Warfield passed out and Hunt called Robert Kelly to help transport Warfield to Nicholas Landrum’s apartment. They arrived at the apartment on the 200 block of Witherspoon Street around 11:30 p.m. Warfield was placed on a futon and the three others, along with Bryan Smith, drew on him with markers. Later, Landrum noticed Warfield wasn’t breathing and called 911. Police arrived and gave Warfield CPR until rescue crews arrived.
Kelly, 20, of Danby, Vt.; Landrum, 21, of Mullica Hills, N.J.; and Smith, 20, of Freehold, N.J., were issued summonses by the Princeton Borough Police for harassment, a disorderly person’s offense and various drug offenses in connection with Warfield’s death. The three men issued summonses were all WCC students at the time of Warfield’s death, according to DeBlasio.
Kelly’s charges are being handled by the Princeton Borough Municipal Court and may still be pending, according to DeBlasio. Landrum was accepted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program because he did not have any prior offenses.
“If he successfully completes the program, the charge will be dismissed,” DeBlasio said.
Smith pleaded guilty to a disorderly person’s offense of possession of marijuana and received 18 months of probation, DeBlasio said.