A former St. Louis County man has been ordered to serve five years in prison in connection with the drug overdose death last year of a Pacific woman.
Christopher M. Albrecht, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of first-degree manslaughter and drug distribution.
Circuit Judge Gael Wood accepted the guilty pleas and ordered concurrent five-year sentences for Albrecht, who has been held in the county jail since his arrest in July 2013.
Albrecht originally was charged with second-degree murder and drug distribution in connection with the death of Danielle J. Barlow, 32, Pacific, in April 2013.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said there is a bill currently in the Missouri Legislature which would make the crime involuntary manslaughter if someone supplies drugs to another person and that person dies.
The second-degree murder charge would have required the prosecutor’s office to prove a defendant intended to kill someone by providing drugs, Parks said.
“I agree with the proposed legislation,” Parks told The Missourian.
Based on that, Parks said he agreed to reduce the charge to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for the guilty plea and prison time.
“The mother of the victim was present at the hearing,” Parks explained. “She was OK with this as long as he (Albrecht) went to prison.”
Authorities allege Barlow died after using heroin sold to her by Albrecht who obtained it from a source in St. Louis.
The woman’s death initially was investigated by Pacific police then turned over to the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit.
Albrecht allegedly supplied heroin to Barlow, and her boyfriend in April. The boyfriend overdosed first but Barlow and her son were able to revive him.
After the boyfriend woke up, Barlow took another dose and was found dead the next morning, police said.
Detective Darryl Balleydier was a member of the drug task force at the time. He said the investigation led police to Albrecht who was living in Pacific when the overdose occurred. When officers went to arrest him, they found heroin, drug paraphernalia and items used to mix and package the drug for sale.
“He was dealing quite a bit out here,” Balleydier said of Albrecht. “He flew under the radar for quite a while.”
Balleydier said Albrecht primarily was selling to users in the Pacific area but also supplied the drug to people in other parts of Franklin County.