Woman convicted in OD death

A Clarion County jury on Thursday found a Clarion woman guilty for her role in delivering fentanyl to a man who died of a fentanyl overdose.

Elva Marie Warner-Confer, 42, was convicted following a three-day trial of felony counts of drug delivery resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver.

She was charged last year by Clarion state police and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General after Donald Leroy Brown, 35, was found dead in his Clarion home in 2016.

Elva Marie Warner-Confer

In the days before his death, Brown called Confer and told her he needed fentanyl patches, according to a press release issued by Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office.

The day before Brown died, Confer confirmed to a witness that she provided Brown with three fentanyl patches that she had bought from another woman, Jennifer Lorraine Best, who was also charged in connection with the fatal overdose, the press release said.

Court dockets indicate that Best, a Shippenville resident, is scheduled to appear in plea court next week in Clarion County.

“The opioid painkiller involved in this case is one of the most powerful ever made available by prescription,” said Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron, who assisted with the prosecution.

“The diversion of these powerful drugs from their intended use far too often leads to tragic, unnecessary deaths like this one,” Aaron added.

Since Shapiro took office in January 2017, his office has arrested or prosecuted 27 defendants for drug delivery resulting in death. The Office of Attorney General has leveled this felony charge against doctors as well as drug dealers.

“If you sell drugs and someone dies as a result, you’re facing a felony and jail,” Shapiro said. “We’re using every tool at our disposal to hold drug dealers accountable for the devastation they’re causing in communities across Pennsylvania. That includes this charge of drug delivery resulting in death.”

Sentencing is expected to occur within 90 days, following a pre-sentence investigation.

In addition to Aaron, the case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Marnie Sheehan-Balchon.

“Law enforcement collaboration between my office and District Attorney Aaron helps make Clarion County safer,” Shapiro said. “We’re grateful for his work.”