Philadelphia Man Sentenced for Heroin Overdose Death in Paoli

Jamal KeysJamal Keys (Submitted Images)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office, announced that Judge David Bortner sentenced Jamal Keys, 43 years of age of Philadelphia, to 18-36 years in prison for the March 2019 heroin overdose death of a 34-year-old man in Paoli. The victim overdosed on the heroin laced with fentanyl that the defendant sold to him the day he died. The defendant was found guilty by a jury in July 2021 of drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver, criminal conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility.

DA Deb Ryan said, “Families suffer enormously when a loved one dies as a result of drugs or alcohol. And although nothing will be able to provide solace to those impacted by this tragedy, we hope this sentence will ease some of their pain and serve as a warning to other people who sell drugs that this could be their future.”

Willistown Police were called to a home on Devon Rd. 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,” 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 laced with fentanyl for $100 in Philadelphia. The defendant continued to reach out to the victim about buying more heroin over the next two days but got no response. 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 and co-defendant delivered heroin for the defendant to undercover detectives on April 3, 2019, and were arrested. The co-defendant pled guilty to possession with intent to deliver in Oct. 2019. The defendant was arrested on April 16, 2019.

The Willistown Township Police and Phoenixville Police Departments investigated; Assistant District Attorneys Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill and Jessica Acito were the prosecutors.

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