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Auburn Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter After Friend’s Overdose


An Auburn man has pled guilty to Manslaughter and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance following the fatal overdose of a friend.

Cayuga County District Attorney Brittany Grome Antonacci has announced 34-year old Matthew Carnicelli entered a guilty plea before Judge Jon Budelmann on Tuesday for selling a bundle of heroin laced with a fentanyl compound on Halloween 2022, resulting in the victim’s overdose. He also admitted to knowing the victim was on prescription medication and therefore at a higher risk of a fatal overdose.

The next day, he was found with over 1/8 of an ounce of fentanyl during a search of his home by the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force. Carnicelli acknowledged possessing the drug with the intent to sell it.

Co-defendant, 31-year old Kelli Mitchell of Auburn, pled guilty to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in February; she will be sentenced in June and faces 6 years imprisonment followed by 3 years under post-release supervision.

Kelli Mitchell. Provided

Carnicelli will be sentenced in July and faces 3 1/2-7 years for the manslaughter charge and 7 years followed by 3 years of post release supervision for the controlled substance charge.

District Attorney Grome Antonacci commented: “This is the second time in our County’s history that our Office has been able to hold an admitted drug dealer criminally responsible for causing the fatal overdose of another. This defendant was on notice that the drugs he possessed and sold contained fentanyl. He was also aware that the victim took prescription medication, which when combined with fentanyl, could be fatal. Despite this knowledge, he sold the drugs to the victim, which is the epitome of recklessness. Part of our strategy in addressing the opioid epidemic is to target drug dealers who are causing fatal overdoses in our communities and hold them accountable for their actions. I strongly urge friends and family members of opiate overdose victims to reach out to their local legislators and push for legislation that will make it easier to prosecute those who bring these lethal drugs into our communities. I commend the thorough investigation conducted by the Finger Lakes Drug task Force, which is comprised of members of the Auburn Police Department, Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police. We will continue to work closely with local law enforcement to bring justice in these cases.”

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