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Danielle McCarthy

Christi Nowak

Anke Furber

Levi Wren

Ephrain Schultz
New York

Mark R Ellis
Rhode Island

Sean P. Efford
New Mexico

Caitlyn Brady
New Hampshire

Katty McGuire Andrea

JP Faulk

Michael Miller

Chuck Tabaka

Miranda Daly

Jamie Leavitt

Kaylin Marie Mathews

RJ Davis

Billy Grandchamp
Rhode Island

Nicholas Werhofnik

Rebecca Marks
New York

Dustin Kueter
South Dakota

Chase Denver Julian

Katelynn Porter

Tony Trujillo

Billy Joe Towle Jr.

Kelley Wilson

Rhiannon Fraser

Vivianna Satterfield
New Mexico

Kelli Laine Lewis
South Carolina

Taylor Smith

Danielle cherished family, friends and life. She had her whole life planned out; her husband, number of kids, two dogs and would be a dermatologist, a career where she could help others but have time for her family.
Christi had just enrolled in college. She just began taking First Baptist Church shuttles downtown every Thursday to befriend the homeless. Just chit chatting with them and letting them know they had a friend. In her journals, she was determined to turn her life around and she started by helping others. She volunteered often for the M.U.S.T. Ministries to help set up their clothing shop for the homeless and the children's center. She helped cooked their meals. She helped do their laundry. She wanted to go into a field helping others. She would have changed at least one person's life, for the better, when they thought there was no more hope. She didn't show up last Thursday. She died.
In the months before she was killed, 21-year-old Anke Furber had been acting scared and she seemed to know she was in danger. Several days after Furber's charred remains were discovered in a small vineyard in Norcross, Anke's mom, Ria, found a note in Anke's desk at home in Marietta. In it, Anke seemed to foreshadow her own death. She wrote, "My parents would surely grieve the loss of their wonderful daughter whose craziness would soon lead to her slaughter". Ria isnt sure exactly when the note was written, but believes it was written in a close time frame to the actual murder.
At 22 years old, Levi had goals and ambitions of being a business owner, a husband and a father. He loved his family and friends with everything in him and would do anything for you. His shyness and manners we're a shining attribute to who he was. Unfortunately, Levi befriended someone who for nearly three years took advantage of his kindness and when asked to leave his home, he killed him. If he would have just walked out the door as asked, Levi would still be here today. We'll never know all the wonderful things that Levi would have accomplished, but we know he was a "Friend" till the end.
Ephraim was 21 yrs old when he prematurely transitioned to the other side. He was a very warm hearted young man. And was always available to help friends and family. As his cousin Ben said about him: "You can lay a 1,000. on the table and know completely that Ephraim would have never taken it". He spent most of his days at Antique World in Clarence , NY which was owned and operated by his Uncle. That was my sons world. A world he will no longer be able to participate in. He is sorely missed by his family and friends.
Mark suffered a brain injury at the age of 19 the night of a high school prom. Mark died at the age of 25. Life was hard for Mark, he lived an aphasic life. Mark struggled to relearn his alphabet and to speak again. Neuro rehab, drug rehab, jails, institutions and death. Mark was disabled and a fighter all at the same time. College, heavy equipment operator, volunteering were all part of these six years. Mark loved kids and wished he had one. Due to the selfish reasoning of his so called friends, Mark will never be able to achieve his dreams that he fought so hard for. Mark's struggle is over !! PEACE..........
His friends describe him as a kind, warm hearted, full of energy, always smiling, and a very silly young man. They also said that whenever Sean walked into a room that he had the ability lighting up the room because he was full of life and energy! He loved his dad, his mom, and his sister very much. He had a very special bond with his great grandma Efford and his great aunt Charlene whom also up in heaven with him. A warm hug from Sean was just another way that he showed his affection to his family and friends
When Cayte was in the middle school she was on the track team, she was a cheerleader for the Nor-Roc Vikings, she was on a soccer team, and she loved attending the dances at the Sad Cafe. When she went to high school, all of those activities stopped. The sad reason was because she was too old. All the kids have, once they reach high school, are the woods and the homes of friends when the parents are at work. If she had activities to do after school when she went to high school, maybe this wouldn't have happened.
From her birth to her passing Katty touched so many lives. Not only did her family have the joy of watching her grow from a 6 pound baby girl to a beautiful young woman, but so many others did as well. The lives she touched are too many to fathom. Her beauty and grace preceded her where ever she went. Her heart was made of fine gold and she cared for others always before herself. She was not just special to all of us but to the Lord who saw fit to call her home at such a young age. Her mansion was ready! When we think of Katty now we all can be at peace because we know she is with her Lord, never to face this harsh world we live in day to day. She is with us always when we remember her smile, her touch, and her kind words. We all had the pleasure of being touched by an ANGEL!
We want our son's name to be Remembered and to bring hope and joy out of something that has been the darkest and heartbreaking days of our families life. JP was very out spoken and we have decided to be that way on this site and to be his voice about the drug companies and the public official's that sit back and do nothing. If we could save one person from what our family had to go Through and is still going Through, it would be all worth it We will not stop until the truth gets out. We want his memory to live on.
Time has gone by so quickly and it seems like we haven't seen your face in forever. Our hearts are broken, our tears flow so freely and our souls feel empty. Michael, you left us with so many happy memories but the memories can never take your place. We know you and your uncle Sam are saving a place for those who cherished you the most.
Two weeks before he died, Chuck called me on the phone. He was excited to tell me he was joining the National Guard. He had begun to think about being a History Teacher. He planned to attend school after basic training. He also mentioned a new girlfriend. He was pretty crazy about her but wanted to give things a little more time before making her "meet the parents". Still, we made plans to meet for lunch once July wound down. He thought we might all get together and told me not to worry, he had a job and would help pay the check. The first time I met the young lady he was so crazy about was as she cried herself senseless over his casket. She laid a broken heart chain and necklace across his hands. She wore the mating half around her slender neck. Her courage in court helped to solidify the deal that sent a drug dealer to prison. I hope she, and Chuck's other friends, make the right decision and swear off drug use so we may never see their faces on these pages.
Everyone ever touched by Miranda. This will be a tribute to the life she lived. She was the most remarkable and inspirational woman I have ever known. I was in awe of my own daughter. Even as her mother, her beauty took my breath away, and as she walked this earth from her crawling stages to adulthood her beauty from the inside amazed me. Miranda loved about every living thing and each friend she had she made her relationship with them special and unique.
Jamie was a very loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, boyfriend and friend.. Most importantly he was the best father anyone could have asked for.. Even though he was only 16 when he was taken away from us from his so called friend, he did everything for his daughter and mother of his daughter  that he had asked to marry him when he turns 18.. Jamie was the type of kid that would take his shirt off his back for anyone that needs it..  Jamie died on April 23, 2008.. If only his so called friend (29 yrs old), his mother and the other people at the home called 911 instead of waiting 3 hours, he would still be here with us today.. Jamie's dad passed away Nov 2005 and he had a hard time dealing with loosing his father and could not believe he was gone.. Well now Jamie is at home with his dad..Until we meet again... I am proud of you my son..Love you always and forever, Mommy
Kaylin Marie Mathews was born on a Tuesday March 1, 1988. Kaylin was my oldest child and my only daughter. She could play the piano, guitar, and drums and loved to sing. She had been "spinning records" the last few years and loved to mix music. She had been working as a d.j. at the time of her death and was very good. Kaylin was an only child for 71/2 years. She has one brother and one sister. She was a talented writer. She made jewelry and she could draw. There was nothing that my baby couldn't do, if she wanted to. Kaylin was left to die in a ravine on June 30, 2008. She was found on July 1, 2008. Her date of death is listed as a Tuesday July 1, 2008. She was 20 years old. I miss her every second of every day. The world lost an amazing talent and an amazing young woman. I lost a part of my heart.
R.J. was truly a blessing in our lives. He was the kind of son that most parents only dream of having. He always respected and obeyed his parents and never got in trouble. RJ was never in trouble in his life RJ always called home to let us know where he was and when he would be home. When he was missing and we couldn't reach him on his cell phone, we knew immediately something terrible was wrong. This is a nightmare that no parent should have to go through and we are living it. Our concern is not what we are going through, but what our son had to go through in his final moments of life.
William Michael Grandchamp better known as Billy, was born Nov 7,1979. HE was a only child. Billy had many friends. Billy often told his friends that his MOM was his best friend. Billy liked to collect sports attire like jerseys and sports caps.Everything he wore had to match. He was meticulous with his clothing, car, and home. Although, Billy had no children of his own he loved children. He told me his greatest wish was to find a good girl and settle down and have a family. That seemed to be very important to him. Even at a young age he had a gift with children. Billy's friends have always commented on how good he was with their children and how their children loved him. Billy was loved by so many people. He had over 800 friends and family members at his wake. Billy will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.
Chase lived life spontaneously with the freedom of a butterfly – a free spirit & soul – no one could hold him down, except his baby girl. She was his LIFE. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her, including getting clean. Chase was clean 1.5 yrs, after 6 months in residential rehab in New Orleans, continued with NA meetings, substance abuse group counseling, and sought out a Navy recruiter who told him all he would have to do to be eligible. He seemed to be on his way, until he fell off the wagon 12 days out of jail. Turning to heroin again to deal with stress was the mistake of his life. “Chase’s Story” is shared with you on his main page. Thanks for taking time to read it. Sincere and heartfelt thanks to the FDLFD Family for taking us under their wings. “They will sing me to them, and I will hear.” ~RIP Chase~4evrYng~1985-2009
Katelynn Lillian Porter, 16, of West Elgin, was killed in a car crash on Dunborough Rd. in Elgin County. “In loving memory of Katelynn Porter. 12/12/09. 9:40 p.m.” is written between two hearts on the roadside memorial, a makeshift cross. Porter was a student at West Elgin secondary school, where officials are trying to come to grips with the news of her death, especially so close to Christmas.
Tony passed away 10 days after his 16th birthday. He asked permission to spend the night at his friends and I told him yes. I told him" I love you" and he replied "I love you too Mom. Tony was the kid who wanted to make everyone laugh. He had such a wonderful sense of humor and a big heart. He would talk to his friends for hours trying to help them solve their problems. He was a loving big brother, and a wonderful son. He would help you with anything without even being asked. Tony was an extremely intelligent child. He was always placed in advanced classes. A week before he passed we received a letter from Columbine informing us that Tony was nominated to participate in their advanced English Program. He had a gift for writing stories.
She loved all things technical and mechanical with her older brother Ian and fashion and decorating days with her older sister Genevieve. She loved Gothic country art, the workings of the human body, video games, driving and her new tattoo machine. She loved swimming and surfing. She loved all things living and loved her dog Timpleton and her parrot Thermopolis. She had a strong heart and soul, was an independent and progressive thinker, open minded and a will power like no one else. Her favorite place to go was Barnes and Noble.
Vivianna Satterfield was 15 years old! Vivi was the type of young lady that put other people in front of herself. She would always say "Peace and Love".
Kelli Laine Lewis is my only daughter. Kelli died when she was 18 after attending a party hosted by 3 adults who offered a $5.00 entry fee to come and drink all you wanted. A pretty tempting offer for teens not old enough to buy alcohol.
Growing up – she had it all. She was smart and witty - she could come up with a jovial comeback in almost any conversation or situation. She wShe was smart and witty - she could come up with a jovial comeback in almost any conversation or situation. She was always photographing everything and always laughing. She had an infectious laugh, loud and squeaky, but incredibly endearing. Taylor was a huge fan of Tyler Perry’s Madea. She owned every play and knew every word to every gospel song in the plays. She would sing them at the top of her lungs to anyone that would listen. as always photographing everything and always laughing. She had an infectious laugh, loud and squeaky, but incredibly endearing.
He went out THE FIRST TIME to celebrate being "LEGAL" with a creep he considered a friend (even though we warned him this guy was not a true friend). My son did not drive so he was picked up about ten thirty. Even when it was obvious my son was having difficulties this creep brought him to his own house , which is 4 houses away for a few hours, and dropped him off here at home in the middle of the night WITHOUT KNOCKING OR CALLING OR WAKING US UP. We found Ben in his bed the next morning when we tried to wake him.

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Danielle McCarthy's Trial Page

Danielle McCarthy's Trial Page


Danielle Dawn McCarthy

July 18, 1990 - January 1, 2007

16 Years Old



Dona Huertas has been found guilty of

Homicide by Controlled Substance and Manslaughter


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Donalydia Huertas
Donalydia Huertas, 18, sits in court Thursday after a jury found her guilty of controlled substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter in the 2007 death of Danielle McCarthy, 16.


Woman gets sentencing break in Ecstasy death

A judge ruled Wednesday that Donalydia Huertas, 19, will be sentenced in juvenile court after her conviction in the overdose death of 16-year-old Danielle McCarthy of Puyallup. The decision clears the way for Huertas to receive a standard sentencing range of up to 30 days in a juvenile jail, instead of the nearly 5-½ years in an adult prison that she could have faced if sentenced in adult court.

By Jennifer Sullivan

Seattle Times staff reporter

Danielle McCarthy's parents, Patrick and Lisa McCarthy, console each other. They had sought a long sentence for Donalydia Huertas, who gave their daughter a fatal dose of Ecstasy.

Danielle McCarthy's parents, Patrick and Lisa McCarthy, console each other. They had sought a long sentence for Donalydia Huertas, who gave their daughter a fatal dose of Ecstasy.



EVERETT — For more than a year and a half, the drug-overdose death of 16-year-old Danielle McCarthy has loomed over two Puyallup families.

While McCarthy's family and Snohomish County prosecutors sought a lengthy prison term for Donalydia Huertas, the woman who gave McCarthy the fatal dose of Ecstasy, Huertas has claimed the death was an accident and her attorney has fought for her to serve a short stint in a juvenile jail.

On Wednesday, the case neared its end in Huertas' favor. A Snohomish County judge ruled that Huertas will be sentenced in juvenile court, a decision that clears the way for the 19-year-old to receive a standard sentencing range of up to 30 days in a juvenile jail, instead of the nearly 5-½ years in an adult prison that she could have faced if sentenced in adult court.

Huertas, 19 and a recent high-school graduate, and her crowd of nearly 30 supporters cried and embraced after Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair's decision. Wayne Fricke, Huertas' attorney, was quick to say that it was "a sad case" and that nobody was celebrating.

Patrick and Lisa McCarthy, Danielle's parents, quickly left the courtroom.

"Danielle's life in the state of Washington is worth zero to 30 days. I would have died for her," Lisa McCarthy said later.

Fair said Huertas acted with "stupidity" by not coming to McCarthy's aid when the girl was overdosing. But since then, Fair said, Huertas has "gained some maturity."

The judge said the case has been "atypical" because judges are normally asked to move cases between the two courts before a defendant is convicted, not after. Fair said she struggled to find any court precedent to guide her while weighing her decision.

Huertas was 17 when McCarthy died on Jan. 1, 2007. She was initially charged with controlled-substance homicide in juvenile court. But prosecutors later amended the charge to the more severe first-degree manslaughter, and the case was transferred to adult court.

In June, however, a jury acquitted her of first-degree manslaughter and found her guilty of the lesser charges of controlled-substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter, which opened the possibility that the case could be moved back to juvenile court for sentencing — a decision made by Fair on Wednesday.

McCarthy was pronounced dead at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds after she spent hours overdosing, according to witnesses.

The night before, McCarthy, Huertas and David Morris drove from Puyallup to parties on the University of Washington's Greek Row and in Edmonds. Witnesses said that during the evening, McCarthy had taken Ecstasy that Huertas bought from Morris, according to charging papers.

But after taking a second tablet, McCarthy grew sick, the charging papers say.

Around 4 a.m., McCarthy was incoherent and drifting in and out of consciousness while at a house party in Edmonds. When someone tried to awaken McCarthy about two hours later, the girl's face was cold and her lips were blue.

While Huertas told police she did what she could to save her friend, prosecutors said that Huertas ordered people not to help McCarthy. Huertas and Morris eventually drove McCarthy to the hospital.

Morris, 21, has since pleaded guilty to controlled-substance homicide and will serve part of his nearly five-year sentence in drug treatment.

Deputy Prosecutor Coleen St. Clair said that when Huertas is sentenced on Aug. 25, she will be seeking an exceptional sentence for juveniles in the state of Washington — incarceration until the defendant is 21.

"Miss Huertas, more than any other defendant I have ever seen, has shown a lack of remorse," St. Clair said during Wednesday's hearing. "She clearly does not understand she has done anything wrong in this case."

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com


controlled substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter

Kevin Nortz / The Herald

Donalydia Huertas, 18, cries Wednesday after Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair decided Huertas should be sentenced as a juvenile in the 2007 death of Danielle McCarthy, 16.


Published: Thursday, August 14, 2008

Puyallup teen’s sentence range to be debated

DIANA HEFLEY;   The (Snohomish County) Herald

Published: June 26th, 2008 01:00 AM

EVERETT – Snohomish County prosecutors will get a chance to prove why a Puyallup teen should be sentenced as an adult in the Ecstasy overdose death of a classmate.

Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair on Wednesday granted prosecutors a special hearing in the case against Donalydia Huertas, 18. She was convicted last week of controlled substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter for her part in the 2007 Ecstasy overdose death of Danielle McCarthy, 16, also of Puyallup.
Wednesday’s decision was the first step in deciding how much time Huertas will serve after her convictions. She could face a couple months in a juvenile rehabilitation facility if sentenced as a juvenile or years in prison if sentenced as an adult.

Prosecutors initially charged Huertas in juvenile court with controlled substance homicide. The case was moved to adult court after plea negotiations broke down, and Huertas was charged with first-degree manslaughter, an offense that is automatically handled in adult court.

The jury’s decision to convict Huertas of the lesser manslaughter charge sent the case back to juvenile court.
Huertas was 17 at the time she gave Ecstasy to McCarthy.

Prosecutors argued Wednesday that the law allows them to ask the juvenile court to decline jurisdiction and pass authority to adult court for sentencing. Huertas’ attorney Wayne Fricke argued prosecutors missed the deadline to ask for a decline hearing when they first charged Huertas with controlled substance homicide in juvenile court.

Fair ruled the law allowed prosecutors to request a hearing, scheduled for Aug. 11.
Huertas is free on bail.


Judge to rule whether Puyallup teen should be sentenced as an adult in Ecstasy death

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2008

EVERETT -- A judge is expected to decide today if prosecutors get a chance to argue that a Puyallup teenager should be sentenced as an adult in the Ecstasy overdose death of a classmate.

A jury on Friday convicted Donalydia Huertas, 18, of controlled substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter in the 2007 death of Danielle McCarthy. Jurors threw out the first-degree manslaughter charge leveled against Huertas.

A conviction of first-degree manslaughter would have guaranteed that Huertas be sentenced in adult court. Instead the verdict raised questions about who has jurisdiction to sentence Huertas -- juvenile or adult court.

Huertas was 17 at the time of the crimes. She initially was charged in juvenile court with controlled substance homicide. When plea negotiations broke down, prosecutors added the first- degree manslaughter charge, and moved the case into adult court, where her trial was conducted.

Since she was convicted of the lesser charge, the door now is open to the possibility Huertas be sentenced as a juvenile, her attorney Wayne Fricke said.

That could mean the difference between a month or two in a juvenile detention facility or years in a state prison.

Today's hearing will determine if prosecutors get a shot to argue why juvenile court should decline to sentence Huertas and the authority be passed to adult court.

Prosecutors believe the offense was so egregious that Huertas should be treated as an adult. They also point to the disparity between the sentences for a juvenile and an adult offender. Co-defendant David Morris, 21, who pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison. He'll be allowed to spend half of the time seeking drug treatment outside jail.

Huertas' culpability was much greater and her sentence should reflect that, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Coleen St. Clair said.

Huertas' attorney Fricke has disagreed, telling jurors Huertas was a teenager who didn't understand the gravity of the situation, and Morris sold the drugs, he said.

McCarthy overdosed on Ecstasy during a New Year's Eve celebration. She showed signs of overdosing for more than eight hours before she was taken to Stevens Hospital in Edmonds on Jan. 1, 2007.

Huertas remains free on bail. She likely won't be sentenced until later this summer.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.


Juvenile or adult? Teen waits for answer

ADAM LYNN; adam.lynn@thenewstribune.com
Published: June 21st, 2008 01:00 AM | Updated: June 21st, 2008 06:42 AM

A judge will be asked to decide next week whether a Puyallup teenager convicted of giving a lethal dose of drugs to a classmate should be sentenced as a kid or a grown-up.

The decision could mean the difference between 30 days in juvenile detention or two years or more in state prison for 18-year-old Donalydia Huertas.

“The difference is life-altering for her,” Huertas’ attorney, Wayne Fricke of Tacoma, said Friday.

Huertas was convicted Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court as an adult for her role in the death of her classmate Danielle McCarthy.

McCarthy died Jan. 1, 2007, after ingesting a lethal dose of the drug Ecstasy. The two had been out partying with another person in Seattle and in Edmonds to celebrate the New Year’s holiday.

Fricke intends to argue at a Wednesday hearing in Everett that his client’s case is governed by a seldom-exercised state law that requires certain young offenders to be sentenced as juveniles even though they were convicted in adult court.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Coleen St. Clair said she’s not sure that law applies to Huertas.

Even if Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair decides to send the case to juvenile court for sentencing, St. Clair said she might ask a judge there to send it back to adult court, which the law allows.

Or, the deputy prosecutor said, she might ask the juvenile court to sentence Huertas under a “manifest injustice” clause that could increase the maximum beyond the 30 days.

“I don’t exactly know all the answers,” St. Clair said Friday. “All I know for sure is that this case is headed for appeal no matter what happens.”

Jurors believed Snohomish County prosecutors’ contentions that Huertas gave McCarthy the drugs, then waited too long to seek help when the 16-year-old girl started showing signs she’d overdosed.

They convicted Huertas of controlled substance homicide but deadlocked on a first-degree manslaughter charge, deciding instead she was guilty of the lesser included offense of second-degree manslaughter.

That decision set the stage for the arguments over where Huertas should be sentenced.

A state law – RCW 13.04.030 – says a juvenile defendant whose case is automatically transferred to adult court because of the seriousness of the alleged crime should be sentenced in juvenile court if he or she is instead convicted of a “lesser included offense” that wouldn’t automatically require the case to go to adult court.

That applies even if the defendant turns 18 after his or her case was transferred to adult court.

The Washington Supreme Court upheld the law last September.

The state’s high court said in its ruling in State v. Posey that the law “bolsters the principles set out by the Legislature that the more severe punishment should be only imposed on defendants who actually commit an enumerated charge.”

Fricke contends his client qualifies for sentencing in juvenile court because that’s where prosecutors originally brought charges against her.

They first charged her as a juvenile with controlled substance homicide and added the manslaughter charge only after she declined to accept a plea bargain that would have kept her locked up until she turned 21, Fricke said.

“The prosecutors are going to have to come up with a reason why all this case law doesn’t apply to her,” he said.

St. Clair said she might have one.

Huertas had turned 18 before the first-degree manslaughter charge was added, making her an adult in the eyes of the law, the deputy prosecutor said.

Fricke said he thinks his client deserves a break. Huertas didn’t give Danielle drugs maliciously and took some of the Ecstasy herself while the two were out together having a good time, the attorney said.

“Do you lock one up because she doesn’t die?” Fricke said. “It’s just a sad, sad, sad situation from every perspective.”

Danielle’s parents, Puyallup residents Lisa and Pat McCarthy, said Friday that they want to see Huertas sentenced as an adult.

“It will send the message that this is serious, that Danielle’s life was worth something, and that she (Huertas) had no right to do what she did,” Lisa McCarthy said.

Pat McCarthy, 48, said the uncertainty surrounding Huertas’ sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 11, postpones resolution in the case and the beginning of healing for him.

He said he’s nervous about the sentence Huertas will receive, but will accept the outcome.

“For the past year and a half, I feel like we’ve been stuck in limbo,” Pat McCarthy said. “This will close the door to the nightmare we’ve been going through.”

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644

Staff writer Steve Maynard contributed to this report.


Kevin Nortz / The Herald

Donalydia Huertas, 18, cries Wednesday after Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair decided Huertas should be sentenced as a juvenile in the 2007 death of Danielle McCarthy, 16.

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2008

Woman to be sentenced as juvenile in Ecstasy death; family 'appalled'                                     

By Diana Hefley, Herald Writer

EVERETT -- Her life was priceless to them.

Danielle McCarthy's parents heard something different in a courtroom on Wednesday.

"Danielle's life, in the state of Washington, is worth zero to 30 days. I would have died for her," the teen's mother, Lisa McCarthy, said. "For this to be the end result, I'm appalled. I'm appalled by the way we've been treated."

The Puyallup teenager who gave McCarthy, 16, Ecstasy and stood by as the drug ended the girl's life, could escape spending any time in jail after a ruling handed down Wednesday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

A judge ordered that Donalydia Huertas, 18, be sentenced in juvenile court in the 2007 overdose death. A jury convicted Huertas in June of controlled substance homicide and second-degree manslaughter.

Huertas provided McCarthy with Ecstasy during a night of partying between Puyallup, Seattle and Edmonds. She discouraged other partygoers to summon medical aid for McCarthy, who showed signs of overdosing for hours. McCarthy was eventually taken to Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, where doctors determined she had died.

Although she was tried and convicted in adult court, Huertas got a break on punishment because of the jury's verdict and her age at the time of the crime.

Huertas could have faced nearly six years in prison. Under juvenile rules, her standard sentence could be between zero and 30 days in juvenile detention.

Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair told Huertas that the teen showed lack of judgment and stupidity the night McCarthy died. The judge also said she believes there is likelihood that Huertas can be rehabilitated.

"I think Ms. Huertas is on the road to recognizing her responsibility in the whole sad state of affairs," Fair said.

Huertas, who remains free on bail, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 25.

Co-defendant David Morris, 21, who sold the Ecstasy to Huertas, pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide in November. He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison. Under a drug-offender alternative sentence, he will be allowed to spend about half his sentence seeking drug treatment outside prison.

Snohomish County prosecutors say they will ask that Huertas be locked up until she is 21. They argued that a regular juvenile sentence would be a manifest injustice.

"The fact that she's shown no remorse, not even a hint that she's done anything wrong, makes her a danger to the community," Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Coleen St. Clair said.

She argued that a sentence in the juvenile system wouldn't provide time enough to protect the community. Huertas won't be required to be supervised by the state Department of Corrections under juvenile sentencing, St. Clair said.

Huertas' attorney Wayne Fricke said his client is remorseful and working hard to make amends. Huertas underwent drug and alcohol counseling and continues to see a mental health provider, he said.

"She's climbing up the ladder. We should applaud that," Fricke said.

Prosecutors initially charged Huertas in juvenile court with controlled substance homicide. The case was moved to adult court after plea negotiations broke down and Huertas was charged with first-degree manslaughter. That offense automatically sent the case to adult court.

The jury could not agree on first-degree manslaughter charge. Instead, they convicted Huertas of the lesser second-degree manslaughter charge. That crime on its own was not serious enough to keep the case in adult court.

Huertas was 17 at the time she gave Ecstasy to McCarthy. She turns 19 today .

The juvenile court considers a number of factors in its decision to decline jurisdiction, including the protection of the community and the likelihood the offender can be rehabilitated in the juvenile detention system.

St. Clair on Wednesday argued that Huertas committed a serious crime that cost a girl her life, yet Huertas had engaged in a campaign to portray herself as the victim. She and her friends harassed witnesses to the point one girl was forced to get a protection order against Huertas, St. Clair said.

Huertas left messages on McCarthy's MySpace page denying that she did anything wrong the night her classmate overdosed on Ecstasy, St. Clair said.

Huertas wrote to McCarthy's family, telling them she gave up her own partying that night to help their daughter, court documents said. She chastised McCarthy's family for casting blame, prosecutors wrote.

"Sorry if any of this hurts but put yourself in my shoes. You and your family have put me through hell and I am still here cause I know Danielle has been with me," Huertas allegedly wrote online. "She told me to brush it off cause ONE day they will realize they were wrong."

Fricke dismissed the bulk of the online postings, saying they were not directly written by Huertas but by people she knew. Huertas couldn't be held responsible for the actions of others, he said.

Fricke said Huertas was the target of a smear campaign since McCarthy's death. She was forced to leave school and was harassed. Huertas was working at a restaurant when someone threw red wine on her and called her a murderer, he said. She has attempted suicide, according to testimony Wednesday.

Fair said she had to balance the proven facts of the crime against the emotions surrounding a young person's death.

While the e-mail exchanges between Huertas and her friends are disturbing and offensive, Fair said she believes Huertas is sorry for McCarthy's death.

The judge also said she understands Patrick and Lisa McCarthy's desire to see Huertas receive the maximum sentence.

Patrick and Lisa McCarthy said the judge had an opportunity to send a strong message to young people about the consequences of drug use. Instead, Wednesday's decision only shows that there's no real punishment, Patrick McCarthy said.

"I believe today's decision wasn't right," he said. "It's putting all kids in jeopardy."

Despite the decision, the McCarthys say they will continue to bring attention to the crime of controlled substance homicide -- for their daughter.

"If there's an overdose death, someone is guilty," Patrick McCarthy said.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.


Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008

Puyallup teen guilty in Ecstasy death

EVERETT – A Puyallup teenager has been found guilty in the Jan. 1, 2007 death of another girl who overdosed on Ecstasy.

Donalydia Huertas, 18, was found guilty of controlled substance homicide and second degree manslaughter in the overdose death of Danielle McCarthy, 16, also of Puyallup.

Jurors acquitted Huertas of a charge of manslaughter in the first degree, a more severe charge that would guarantee she would be sentenced in adult court.

The lesser charge leaves open the possibility that Huertas might be sentenced in juvenile court. The difference could be she serves weeks, instead of years.

McCarthy's family was upset after the verdict that Huertas was not taken into custody. She has been out on bail since being charged in their daughter's death.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours before announcing their verdict in the week-long trial.

A number of the witnesses who testified were young people who were with Huertas and McCarthy during a night of partying. Huertas decided to not testify in her own defense by taking the stand.

Huertas was accused of giving McCarthy two Ecstasy pills and asserting herself as the younger girl's caretaker. Friends for only a few weeks, Huertas that night aggressively rebuffed any suggestions that the girl needed to go to the hospital for help.

Prosecutors told jurors that for at least eight hours McCarthy showed signs that she was overdosing. She vomited repeatedly and begged Huertas not to let her die.

She was taken to Stevens Hospital in Edmonds Jan. 1, 2007 where she was pronounced dead.

Attorney Wayne Fricke told jurors his client wasn’t responsible for McCarthy’s death. Huertas had taken Ecstasy herself, and didn’t understand how sick the girl was, Fricke said. He also argued that Huertas didn’t give McCarthy the drugs. He told jurors that David Morris, 21, was responsible for providing the drugs.

Morris, also of Puyallup, pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide and was sentenced earlier this month to nearly five years in prison. He will serve half of his sentence out of jail to seek drug treatment. He was called as a witness against Huertas in the trail which started June 9.


Trial begins into classmate's role in teen's overdose

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Victim pleaded, 'Please don't let me die'

Danielle McCarthy was a kid who didn't get a chance to learn from her mistakes.

She took Ecstasy for the first time on New Year's Eve 2006. About eight hours later, Danielle died of a drug overdose in Edmonds.

Now, attorneys are arguing whether a former classmate carries some of the responsibility for the 16-year-old Puyallup girl's death.

The trial for Donalydia Huertas, 18, began Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court. Huertas, of Puyallup, is charged with first-degree manslaughter and controlled-substance homicide, both felonies.

Jarett Goodkin
Prosecuting attorney Jarett Goodkin gives his opening statement during the trial of Donalydia Huertas on charges of first-degree manslaughter and controlled-substance homicide.

Prosecutors allege that Huertas bought Ecstasy, took two pills and gave two to Danielle during a night of partying with a group of friends. They also say Huertas knew Danielle was extremely sick from taking the drug and did nothing to help the girl. Huertas continuously cursed at anyone who suggested that Danielle should go to the hospital, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin said.

" 'Please don't let me die' -- those were Danielle McCarthy's words to the defendant. That's exactly what she did," Goodkin said of Huertas.

Danielle's parents held hands as they sat in the front row of the courtroom. Lisa McCarthy wept as Goodkin told jurors how Danielle pleaded for "her mommy" as the drugs attacked her body.

The girl vomited and urinated in her pants. She collapsed, lost consciousness and suffered a seizure. Several hours later, after her lips had turned blue and one of her hands was clenched in a claw, she was taken to Stevens Hospital in Edmonds. Doctors tried but could not revive her.

"Evidence will show she didn't have to die," Goodkin told the jury.

Huertas, sitting next to her attorney Wayne Fricke, sobbed as the jury was told that she cursed at one girl who suggested Danielle needed to be taken home.

Huertas' attorney said Danielle's death was tragic, but told jurors his client is not responsible.

A Puyallup man, David Morris, provided the drugs that night, Fricke said. Evidence will show that Morris, not Huertas, gave Danielle the drugs, Fricke said.

Morris, 21, last week was sentenced to nearly five years in prison for his part in Danielle's death. He pleaded guilty to controlled-substance homicide. He will be allowed to spend half his sentence in drug treatment outside prison as part of a special sentencing alternative for drug offenders. Prosecutors expect to call him as a witness against Huertas.

Wayne Fricke
Defense attorney Wayne Fricke listens during opening statements on Tuesday during the trial of Donalydia Huertas.

Fricke argued that the prosecution's case is based on testimony from a group of young people whose stories are inconsistent and in some cases motivated by spite. All of the witnesses were under the influence of drugs or alcohol that night, he said. Some have lied about what they saw that night, especially one girl who reported that Huertas repeatedly cursed at her when she asked after Danielle's welfare, Fricke said.

Huertas attempted to take care of Danielle. Only 17 at the time, she didn't know Danielle's condition was so grave, Fricke said.

Huertas originally was charged in juvenile court with controlled-substance homicide, a seldom-used charge. The first-degree manslaughter charge was added after plea negotiations broke down. The charge is automatically handled in adult court.

Testimony is expected to continue today.


Trial begins in Puyallup teen's Ecstasy death

By ROB PIERCY / KING 5 News and KING5.com

EVERETT, Wash. – Trial began Tuesday for a teen accused of giving a classmate Ecstasy then telling friends not to call for help after the girl overdosed.

Donalydia Huertas is charged with first-degree manslaughter and controlled substance homicide in the death of 16-year-old Danielle McCarthy of Puyallup on New Year's Eve 2006.

"'Please don't let me die.' Those were Danielle McCarthy's words to the defendant, Donalydia Huertas," prosecutor Jarret Goodkin told the jury.

"Dona Huertas told everyone (Danielle) was fine. She just needed to rest. Danielle McCarthy was not fine. She was dying of an Ecstasy overdose."

McCarthy had joined Huertas and others to party that night. Prosecutors say Huertas bought Ecstasy from David Morris and gave it to McCarthy, who wasn't a drug user. When it was clear McCarthy had overdosed, prosecutors claim Huertas didn't help and even got nasty several times with other people who tried to.

"She was told 'get the (expletive) away. She doesn't need your help,'" said Goodkin.

Huertas' attorney paints a very different picture, saying Huertas and McCarthy were simply teenagers experimenting with drugs together.

"When you see the toxicology results, you're going to find that Danielle was also consuming marijuana," said attorney Wayne Fricke.

He says when it became clear McCarthy was ill, Dona Huertas tried to help as best she could.

"Dona was freaking out. She didn't know what she was doing," said Fricke.

Huertas, who is now 18, is being tried in adult court after her attorney unsuccessfully tried to move the case back to juvenile court. Huertas was originally charged with controlled substance homicide as a juvenile, but prosecutors upped the charges and moved the case to adult court after Huertas refused a plea deal.

Either one of those deals would have sent her to prison for roughly three years. If convicted, she faces more than eight years behind bars.

Last week, Morris was sentenced to 30 months in prison and 30 months community custody. Although there wasn't a plea deal involved, Morris pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide and promised to testify against Huertas.


Man sentenced in Puyallup teen's overdose death

Story Published: Jun 4, 2008 at 4:15 PM PDT
Story Updated: Jun 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM PDT

By KOMO Staff & News Services

EVERETT, Wash. -- A Puyallup man who admitted to supplying drugs that killed a 16-year-old girl has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Twenty-one-year-old David Morris pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide, a felony, in the overdose death of Danielle McCarthy, of Puyallup. He admitted he supplied Ecstasy to McCarthy on New Year's Eve 2006.

Morris appeared in Snohomish County Superior Court on Wednesday. Before learning his fate he listened to the emotional word of McCarthy's grieving family members.

"It's like something cut us in half...and everyone can see," said mother Lisa McCarthy. "they say it gets easier with time. I don't know who 'they' are. It doesn't get easier. You just get better at hiding the pain."

Danielle died after a night of partying with her friends more than two years ago, but several questions remain unanswered. For instance, it remains a mystery why Morris did not do anything sooner to help the teen. Danielle was already dead by the time she was finally rushed to the hospital after taking two tablets of Ecstacy.

"There were so many points along the way when her life could have been saved," said Judge Ellen Fair on Wednesday.

Danielle's father said he lives with that troubling point every day.

"Danielle is the first thing I think of when I wake up, the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. But everything in between is how she died," said Patrick McCarthy.

After hearing to the painful words of Danielle's parents, Morris made a tearful apology to the family.

"Not a day goes by when I don't think about what happened and the loss of Danielle," he said.

Morris was granted an alternative sentence for drug offenders.

In addition to his prison sentence, Morris will be under community supervision for more than two years and be required to undergo drug treatment. If he fails to meet all the requirements of treatment, he'll be sent back to prison to finish out the remainder of his sentence. Once out of prison, he will also have to serve 30 months of community service.

Morris, who has been out of custody, was ordered jailed immediately. He is expected to remain in the Snohomish County Jail in Everett during the trial of co-defendant Donalydia Huertas. The 18-year-old woman from Puyallup is expected to go on trial next week.

Prosecutors say Huertas bought the drugs from Morris and gave them to McCarthy. She is charged with first-degree manslaughter and controlled substance homicide. She has refused to take the guilty plea.


30 months for drug dealer in teen's Ecstasy death

06:01 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 4, 2008
By ROB PIERCY / KING 5 News and KING5.com
Video: Drug dealer in teen's Ecstasy death gets 30 months

EVERETT, Wash. – A man who sold the drug Ecstasy that killed a Puyallup girl was shown some leniency from a judge Wednesday for his cooperation in the investigation.

David Michael Morris of Puyallup was sentenced to 30 months in prison for the New Year's Eve 2006 death of 16-year-old Danielle Dawn McCarthy, also of Puyallup.

Danielle's mother was in tears as she spoke at the sentencing.

"I hope someday he has the courage to explain to me why my child's life wasn't worth saving," said Lisa McCarthy. "She's dead and she's not coming back... and she was mine and I loved her."

Morris will also have to serve 30 months of community custody upon his release, which will include substance abuse treatment. If he fails at that or commits another crime, he'll serve the remainder of those 30 months in prison.

"I want to apologize to the McCarthys for the loss of their daughter. I know it won't change her not being here, but I wish it could," Morris said in court.

McCarthy took the drug at a party. After two doses, prosecutors say Danielle became very sick and started having seizures, but no one did anything to help her. Morris finally drove her to an Edmonds hospital, but she was already dead.

Morris faced up to five years in prison.

Danielle McCarthy

The lighter sentence was not part of a plea bargain. The judge cited the fact that Morris was cooperative through the investigation, pleaded guilty to controlled substance homicide and voluntarily agreed to testify against another suspect, 18-year-old Donalydia Huertas. She's the classmate who is accused of actually giving McCarthy the Ecstasy, then telling people not to help Danielle as she was suffering. Huertas is charged with controlled substance homicide and first-degree manslaughter.

Trial begins next week for Huertas. She was offered similar deals to Morris' in both juvenile and adult courts, but pleaded not guilty.



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