Claggett-Brown conviction upheld for involvement with heroin overdose death

By: David M. Higgins II

Leonardtown, MD- St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz and Senior Assitant Jayme Sterling announced today the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland upheld the conviction of Regina Malvalee Claggett-Brown in connection with the 2016 overdose death Paul Francis Baxter.

The Defendant was convicted by a jury and sentenced to prison. She appealed her conviction. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the Defendant’s conviction siding with the State and concluded that the “evidence adduced at trial also supports the conclusion that Claggett-Brown acted recklessly in providing heroin to [the victim]. Throughout her interview with the St. Mary’s County police, she repeatedly acknowledged the harmful, even fatal, effects of heroin … Claggett-Brown elected to play a pivotal role in providing them with heroin.”

On August 8, 2017, Governor Larry Hogan along with Fritz, and St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron announced that eight individuals suspected of selling heroin, fentanyl and/or carfentanil. These transactions resulted in the overdose deaths of individuals and the States Attorney had charged all of these individuals with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and additional distribution and possession charges.

In October 2017, Claggett-Brown was found not guilty of the second-degree murder- depraved indifference charge. The jury found her guilty on the two counts of possession and the charge of reckless endangerment. She was acquitted on the charges of distribution and involuntary manslaughter.

In January 2018, Claggett-Brown was sentenced to five years in prison for her role in the overdose death after being found guilty of possession and reckless endangerment.

Judge David W. Densford also ordered Claggett-Brown to pay restitution in the amount of $5,058 to the family of Paul Francis Baxter. That covers the cost of the funeral services and burial. Baxter died in October 2016 after Claggett-Brown helped him purchase heroin which caused his deadly overdose.

Claggett-Brown’s attorney’s appealed the conviction and it was upheld by the courts on September 17, 2019.

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