Inmate Heading to Trial in Prison Overdose Case

July 15, 2014 - An Erie inmate who is accused of smuggling heroin into the prison and causing one inmate to overdose and die is heading to trial.

All charges against Nathan Howard were bound over to court.

Prosecutors say Howard gave heroin laced with fentanyl to three other inmates back in May. All three inmates overdosed.

However, only inmate Steven Burkhart died from the drug mix.

During Howard’s preliminary hearing, the DA's office played surveillance video of Howard handing inmates a piece of paper containing what may be heroin.

Minutes later the inmates are shown overdosing while Howard rushes away from their table.

In addition, one of the inmates testified today and said Howard provided him with something that caused him to OD too.

Howard's defense attorney said there is a lack of evidence.

As two of the other inmates who testified didn't see Howard exchange drugs.

Also, his attorney states drugs were never found on Howard following a series of searches.

Howard remains behind bars.

He's serving a prior sentence for possession with intent to deliver heroin.

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