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Man pleads to drug use after girlfriend's death

Published February 19. 2014 12:04PM

A Lansford man, who was arrested on drug counts following the death of his girlfriend, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to reduced charges in the county court before Judge Joseph J. Matika.

Eric R. Zuber, 32, pleaded guilty to one count each of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Zuber was arrested following a June 6, 2013, incident at his residence at 304 W. Bertsch St.

Police responded to the home for a report of a unresponsive female. When officer Jeffrey Ohl arrived he found emergency medical technicians in an upstairs bedroom administering aid to Heather M. Hayes, 25, who resided at the home with Zuber.

Ohl was told by a medical technician that Hayes was dead.

Ohl then asked Zuber what had happened and Zuber told the officer that his girlfriend had overdosed on heroin and cold tablets.

Ohl saw in plain view in the bedroom two plastic containers holding suspected marijuana plants, several multicolored glass smoking pipes with burnt residue inside, bent metal paper clips, or "scrapers", commonly used to clean smoking pipes, and several packets of over-the-counter tablets.

As a result Ohl charged Zuber with four counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and single counts of possession and possession of paraphernalia. The more serious counts of delivery were dropped in a plea bargain.

Zuber told Matika he was receiving counseling and taking medication for mental health and other issues.

Matika placed him on probation of the paraphernalia charged and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and render 50 hours of community service. On the possession count he was fined $200.

He must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision feel while on probation.

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