Loveland Reporter-Herald

Suspect pleads not guilty in fentanyl death case

Samuel Strait will face a seven-day trial in August

- By Austin Fleskes afleskes@ prairiemou­

The man accused of selling a lethal dose of fentanyl to a teenager last year has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial in August.

Samuel Strait, 30, appeared before 8th Judicial District Court Judge Daniel Mcdonald Thursday morning where he entered a not guilty plea to the two felony charges against him: distributi­on of fentanyl that led to death, a class 1 drug felony; and distributi­on of a controlled substance to a minor, a class 1 drug felony.

He also has been charged in another case with first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, a class 6 felony, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a class 1 drug misdemeano­r; Strait did not enter a plea in this case.

Deputy District Attorney Lynzi Maas said that, because of this not guilty plea, the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will be revoking an offered agreement.

The agreement, which is no longer on the table, was for him to plead guilty to the first drug 1 felony count in the drug case and to first-degree motor vehicle theft in his other case and face sentencing that could range from probation all the way to 32 years in prison. Instead, he pleaded not guilty in the drug case.

The judge scheduled Strait to face a seven-day jury trial starting Aug. 15 and concluding Aug. 23. He also scheduled Strait to return for a preliminar­y hearing at 9 a.m. April 5, a motions hearing at 2 p.m. May 23 and a pre-trial conference at 1 p.m. Aug. 1.

Strait is accused of providing fentanyl to a 15-year-old Loveland male, who was found unconsciou­s and not breathing on his bed at a home in the 1300 block of North Washington Avenue. First responders provided life-saving efforts and the teen was transporte­d to Mckee Medical Center before being flown to Children’s Hospital in Aurora where he was later pronounced dead, according to Strait’s arrest affidavit.

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