New Springfield woman charged with giving deadly drugs to friend

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A New Springfield woman is sitting in the Mahoning County Jail Tuesday, accused of giving her friend heroin that caused his death.

Police and prosecutors say Katrina Young-Walsh gave a deadly dose of heroin to Tommy Lee Johnson, of Sebring, two years ago.

“She herself at one time was in drug rehab and that’s exactly where she met him,” said Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Ken Cardinal.

He claims Johnson and Young-Walsh got high together in May of 2015. She survived, but he did not.

When Sebring police were not able to make any progress in Johnson’s death, they turned the case over to the county drug task force about six months ago.

“You can’t contribute to someone’s use of drugs who is drug-dependent or about to become drug-dependent,” Cardinal said.

Young-Walsh was arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals after being secretly indicted last week for involuntary manslaughter.

“You’re gonna have to realize and take responsibility that if you’re using drugs and your friend is using, and your friend dies and you live, we’ll probably knock at your door because you contributed in some way to his death or her death,” Cardinal said.

Police and prosecutors will continue looking for drug dealers who are supplying users on the streets, and add that cases like this should be a warning to people who are addicted and share their drugs with others.

“If there’s folks that are chargeable that we can hold accountable, then we’ll do that,” said Lt. Jeff Solic, with the Mahoning County Drug Task Force.

Cardinal said for years, there’s been the slogan “friends don’t let friends drink and drive.”

“We’re gonna have to impose that slogan on people who use drugs with their friends.”

Authorities said Young-Walsh has a long history of drug abuse but now that she’s in jail, they hope she can remain clean and sober.

“Something to break that cycle of addiction, to break that cycle of abuse, and this is the only way law enforcement can do that,” Solic said.

Young-Walsh is due in court next week.