Philadelphia Man Found Guilty in the Heroin Overdose Death of 34-Year-Old

Jamal KeysJamal Keys, age 43, of Philadelphia (Image via Chester County District Attorney Office)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced that a jury found Jamal Keys, 43, of Philadelphia, guilty of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death and Possession with Intent to Deliver for the 2019 death of a 34-year-old victim. The victim overdosed on heroin that the defendant sold to him the day he died, March 29, 2019; his body wasn’t discovered until April 1. The defendant will be sentenced at a later date.

District Attorney Deb Ryan said, “The victim’s family is, of course, devastated by the death of their loved one at the hands of this defendant. My sympathies go out to them – and to all families who have lost someone to an overdose. I hope the victim’s family finds justice in the verdict.”

Authorities state that Willistown Township Police were called to a home on Devon Road in Paoli on April 1, 2019, for the report of a deceased 34-year-old male. Police found 14 packets of heroin, along with drug paraphernalia, on the nightstand beside the victim. The victim’s family confirmed that he struggled with addiction.

An investigation led police to an individual named “Mal,” who was later identified as the defendant. The defendant delivered heroin to the victim in Phoenixville on March 27, 2019.

On March 29, 2019, the defendant sold the victim 14 packets of heroin for $100 in Philadelphia. The defendant continued to reach out to the victim about buying more heroin over the next two days but never got a response. A member of the victim’s family reported that March 29 was the last time the victim was seen alive.

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The defendant’s cousin delivered heroin for the defendant to undercover detectives on April 3, 2019. He was arrested and, in October 2019, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Deliver and Conspiracy. The defendant was arrested on April 16, 2019.

Willistown Township Police and Phoenixville Police investigated this case. Assistant District Attorney’s Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill and Jessica Acito were the prosecutors.

Correction: A typo showed the defendant sold the victim heroin in 2021. The correct year is 2019. The article has been updated from the original.

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