A Hollywood TV executive has pleaded guilty to dragging an unconscious woman out of his friend and drug dealer’s apartment and leaving her to die in the vestibule of a Manhattan apartment building.
Marc Henry Johnson, who reportedly produced the pilot for the upcoming HBO series The Deuce, starring James Franco, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to a narcotics offense, admitted in court on Tuesday that he dragged Dr. Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny, a happily married dermatologist and mother of three, into the building’s vestibule before he called 911, according to the New York Post.
“I was scared, frightened and panicked,” Johnson reportedly told the judge.
On October 4, 2015, police found Dr. Cerveny, 38, unresponsive inside the door of an apartment building in Chelsea, where known drug dealer James Holder lived. The former beauty queen and high school valedictorian had somehow ended up at Holder’s apartment in the early hours of that morning, and overdosed on cocaine.
Cerveny later died at a Manhattan hospital.
Johnson reportedly admitted that he wanted to protect his drug-dealer friend stay out of trouble and stay in business, but insisted that he administered CPR to the doctor, who has reportedly turned blue. Still, he did not call 911 until he had moved her body and refused to identify himself to the dispatcher.
Johnson and Cerveny were previously acquainted and reportedly planned to meet up that night, as Cerveny was in the city from Long Island for a night on the town with her girlfriends.
According to DNAinfo, Johnson could face up to ten years in prison.
“Marc Henry Johnson’s immediate response to seeing a dying overdose victim should have been to summon help,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement. “Instead, Johnson helped his cocaine dealer cover up the drug crime by moving the victim’s body.”
“In this time of a growing overdose epidemic, today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder that the proper response to a potential drug overdose is to immediately call 911, not to delay to help cover for the drug dealer.”