DOYLESTOWN >> Kyle Wireman, 29, of Franconia, was sentenced to five to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty Monday to having provided the fentanyl-laced pills that killed a Trumbauersville man.
Brianna Burns, 23, of Souderton, who was charged in the same case, as well as with also supplying some of the pills to an East Greenville man who also died, pleaded guilty, but asked that sentencing be deferred until a pre-sentencing investigation be completed.
The bodies of Justin Eschenberg, of Trumbauersville, and William Grzyminski, of East Greenville, were found Nov. 3, 2015; both died from counterfeit Percocet pills that contained fentanyl and acetylfentanyl, investigators said.
The day before, Burns had met separately with Wireman and Grzyminski in Sellersville and sold some of the pills to each, Pennsylvania State Police said in court documents.
Wireman later took one of the pills with Eschenberg and Eschenberg snorted one of the pills, Wireman told investigators.
In answer to questions by his attorney, Thomas Logan, Wireman said Eschenberg was a good friend and, at the time, Wireman thought the pills were Percocet. Wireman said he was a drug user but did not sell drugs. After leaving Eschenberg’s home that night, Wireman said, he became sick from the pill he had taken but did not know until two days later that Eschenberg had died. Wireman said Eschenberg was fine when Wireman left the home.
Two state troopers testified at the sentencing that Wireman has cooperated with investigators.
His mother, speaking at the sentencing, described him as “a very intelligent, hard-working, loving individual,” and said he started using painkillers after a wrestling injury. A family friend said Wireman “was torn up” by Eschenberg’s death.
Wireman said he later relapsed, so, “I wouldn’t have to deal with anything.”
“I miss him every day. I’m sorry,” Wireman said.
In a victim impact statement written by Eschenberg’s mother and read at the sentencing by his sister, the family spoke of their pride in Eschenberg, who had started a business and bought a home.
“He was so alive,” she said.
Eschenberg was not a drug addict and had taken the pill to relieve back pain, she said.
“We are locked in a mental jail and will never be free of his loss,” Eschenberg’s mother said in the statement.
“Your son was a good friend to me and I never meant to hurt him,” Wireman said, speaking to the family. “He was a good kid. I’m sorry for your loss.”
Wireman said he hopes to help keep others from having something similar happen to them.
“My plan is to get my feet back under me and use this situation to help other people,” he said.
Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Gannon, who said he was asking a question raised by the Eschenbergs, asked why Wireman hadn’t checked back on Eschenberg after Wireman became sick from the pill.
“I didn’t think to check on him,” Wireman said. “I was throwing up, but I didn’t think he’d be any worse than I was.”
Before setting the sentence, Bucks County Judge Raymond McHugh said the case is another example of opiate use being a long, slow descent into hell.
Wireman’s previous criminal record, including simple assault and driving under the influence convictions, appears to have been fueled by drug or alcohol use, McHugh said.
He said he realizes Wireman did not intentionally harm anyone, but “the fact is it did cause serious harm.”
Wireman will be given credit for time served from Dec. 14, 2016, McHugh said.
Burns was returned to Bucks County Prison to await sentencing, which will probably be in about two months, McHugh said.