Police have charged a Port Jervis man with homicide and criminally negligent manslaughter.

Police allege on Nov. 3, 2015 Kevin Pelton, 58, injected 51-year-old Joseph Vara of Nanuet with heroin at Pelton’s home in Port Jervis. Vara had trouble breathing and lost consciousness after the injection.

Emergency responders were called to the home after a woman at the residence called 911 and reported that an unconscious man needed medical attention. Officials attempted to save Vara’s life but he died on the scene.

Due to the increased number of heroin overdoses, City of Port Jervis Police officers now carry Naloxone, a drug that immediately reverses overdoses involving opiates such as heroin. However, while trying to save Vara’s life, officials say they weren’t told that he was recently injected with heroin.

Pelton was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, both felonies, for having injected heroin into Vara and failing to promptly seek medical attention for him.

“Heroin overdose deaths are increasing,” said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. “My office will do everything in our power to hold accountable drug dealers whose narcotics kill the people who consume them.”

Pelton was additionally charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal injection of a narcotic drug, all felonies.

Pelton was arraigned in City of Port Jervis Court and was remanded to the Orange County Jail without bail. He is scheduled to appear in the City of Port Jervis Court for further court appearances. The case will be further investigated before an Orange County Grand Jury.

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