Judge accepts guilty plea for woman in NH teen's overdose death
CONCORD — A federal judge accepted a guilty plea Thursday from a woman who was partially responsible for providing drugs to a 17-year-old girl that caused her to overdose and die in 2015.
Leslie Aberle appeared in federal court to testify that she was entering her guilty plea of her own free will and that she understood the implications of doing so.
A federal judge laid out all the rights Aberle would forfeit by entering a guilty plea, and Aberle indicated that she understood. The judge pressed Aberle to make sure that she was not threatened or coerced into entering her guilty plea, and Aberle confirmed that she was not.
Aberle confirmed for the court that it was her signature was on the plea agreement and waiver of indictment.
Reading from the plea agreement, the judge said Aberle would plead guilty to felony conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance. The plea agreement recommended a 60-month prison sentence, although it will ultimately be up to a federal judge to decide on a sentence. The maximum sentence Aberle could receive is 20 years in prison.
The judge also told Aberle that her supervised release after she gets out of jail could range from three years to the rest of her life, and she could face a maximum fine of $1 million.
Aberle initially pleaded guilty last year to aiding and abetting the distribution of fentanyl that killed 17-year-old Eve Tarmey in Rochester. Tarmey's mother, Jazzmyn Rood, and her mother's boyfriend, Mark Ross, have already been sentenced to prison. Prosecutors said Aberle and Ross drove with Tarmey to Massachusetts to buy heroin, which later was found to be fentanyl.
Aberle was scheduled to be sentenced in January 2017, but her hearing has been rescheduled several times for multiple reasons, including a pending case against her out of Portsmouth and her legal representation getting sick.