DOYLESTOWN — A 40-year-old West Rockhill man has been sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison for providing the drugs that led to the death of a Hilltown man.
David Iskra, who pleaded guilty in August to the drug delivery resulting in death charge, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 11 by Bucks County Judge Raymond McHugh. He was also sentenced to 10 years probation, running concurrent with the prison time, for a separate case in which he was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
The Bucks County coroner's office determined Kurt Dunlap, who was 27 when he died Nov. 18, 2017, died of "acute fentanyl intoxication," according to court documents. During police questioning, Iskra said Dunlap had come to Iskra's apartment the previous night and gotten heroin from Iskra, the documents said.
McHugh said the case again shows something he often sees.
"Heroin, fentanyl are the devil's drug. They steal your soul. They consume you," he said.
"They will take you into a long, slow descent of hell on earth," McHugh said.
In a victim impact letter written by the mother of Kurt Dunlap and read aloud by a victim advocate, Dunlap's mother said she's heard people say that a parent should not outlive their child.
"Unfortunately, I know the true meaning of this phrase. I wish I didn't," she said.
She described Dunlap as someone who was always helping and who pulled for the underdog.
"Each day all around me are triggers that bring my precious Kurt to mind," she said.
Since his death, she has a lot of anxiety, particularly around crowds of people, she said.
She said she realizes the Iskra family also was hurt by what happened.
"Two mothers lost a son on November 18, 2017," she said.
She said she was not making a recommendation of what Iskra's sentence should be, but her prayer is that he would get the help he needs.
Dunlap's father, reading from his victim impact statement, recalled when he was told his son had died.
"This was not a solvable problem. It was final. My son was dead," he said.
The family feels the loss all the time, he said, giving examples such as in the empty chair at the Thanksgiving table, while Christmas shopping, or at Dunlap's sister's graduation.
"It's very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that someone placed greater value on financial gain than on the life of my son," he said.
As the victim impact letters were read, Iskra cried.
A family friend described Iskra as polite, hard-working and dependable.
"David understands the weight of his actions and is truly sorry for the path he went down," she said.
Defense attorney Paul Lang said Iskra was too emotional to be able to speak at the sentencing.
Lang said the loss of Iskra's father and an injury at work, after which Iskra was treated by a doctor who "pumped him" with opioids and has since pleaded guilty to drug-related charges, were major factors leading to Iskra's later actions.
"I firmly believe David is capable of rehabilitation," Lang said. "I have great hope for David to overcome this."
Dunlap and Iskra were friends, Lang said, and Iskra has accepted responsibility for what happened.
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees said the six to 12 year sentence was recommended.
McHugh said the six year minimum falls within state guidelines.
He also noted that Iskra had accepted responsibility.
"That's the first step to rehabilitation," McHugh said.
The sentence includes credit for time already served since Iskra was taken into custody in April of 2018.