Suspect Arrested in Pregnant Girlfriend’s Death

Christopher BarbutoChristopher Barbuto (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and Phoenixville Police Department announced the arrest Friday of 40-year-old Christopher Barbuto for supplying fatal doses of alprazolam, fentanyl, and methamphetamine to his 29-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Courtney Wilson, at his home in Phoenixville in February 2022. He is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and related offenses. He is held at Chester County Prison on $300,000 bail set by MDJ James Kovaleski.

“Interviews with witnesses clearly demonstrate the defendant’s complete callousness regarding the death of his pregnant girlfriend. In fact, he did not want to ‘waste’ Narcan on her and he continued to use drugs even after he knew she was dead, said Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan.  “Then he unlawfully disposed of the remaining drugs and other evidence and waited several hours before calling 911. His despicable actions and lack of actions speak volumes about his responsibility in the death of Courtney Wilson. We will get justice for her family and loved ones.”

Authorities state that on February 14, 2022, Phoenixville Police responded to the 200 block of St. Mary’s St. for the report of a possible overdose after 911 received a call from the defendant. When police arrived, they found the victim dead at the scene.

On August 16, 2022, the Chester County Coroner’s Office determined that the victim died of combined toxic effects of alprazolam, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

Police reportedly found an empty bag of heroin/fentanyl in the victim’s purse near her body and two suspected Xanax pills in her belongings. Also found was the victim’s unlocked cell phone, which was seized by police. Investigators discovered text messages between the victim and the defendant on the phone that indicated he was supplying heroin/fentanyl and Xanax to her.

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Investigators retrieved surveillance video near the defendant’s house that shows the two arriving there at 3:52 a.m. on February 13. After reviewing the video between their arrival and when the defendant called 911 on February 14, investigators determined the victim never left the house.

The video reportedly shows the defendant leaving the house alone at 5:59 a.m. and walking east on St. Mary’s St., then north on South St., where he goes out of view. When the defendant returns into view at 6:01 a.m., he is holding his phone and smoking a cigarette.

Witnesses reported that the defendant continued to ingest drugs after he knew the victim had died and that he didn’t want to “waste” Narcan on her.

The preliminary hearing is set for September 6, 2022.

Phoenixville Police Department and Chester County Detectives are investigating. DDA Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill is the assigned prosecutor. If you have information related to this incident, Phoenixville Police Detectives are asking you to call 610-933-1180.

If you or anyone you know suffers from a substance use disorder, contact law enforcement for help. The Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI) lets people with substance use disorders use local police to be connected to treatment at no cost.

The National Drug HelpLine at 1-844-289-0879 is available 24/7 to help those suffering from the impact of drugs and alcohol.

Information, a criminal complaint, or an arrest is not a declaration of guilt. A suspect, arrestee, or defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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