Friends of heroin overdose victim now charged in her death



MONESSEN, Pa. - Monessen police have charged two people with lying to police and medical personnel over the fatal overdose of a Donora woman.

The charges against Virgil Walker, 53, and Angela Beresh, 30, followed an investigation into the Feb. 6 death of Ashley Vince, 27.

Police said they were dispatched to Walker's residence for a report of a female who was not breathing just before 6 a.m.

When police officers arrived, they were notified by an emergency medical dispatcher that Walker had allegedly refused to follow directions to render aid to Vince and that he had instead been flushing the toilet multiple times.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, police said Vince's body was already cold to the touch and paramedics advised Vitale that Vince had been deceased “for some time.” Police said Vince was found lying on the floor covered with two blankets.

Walker allegedly told police the women came to his residence around 3 a.m. and that Beresh offered to have sex with him in exchange for drugs. He also told police he was Vince's uncle, according to the affidavit.

Beresh allegedly told police that when Vince was not waking up, she wanted to call 911 for help, but Walker would not let her because “he did not want the cops to come to his house.”

“Apparently she was still in the process of overdosing and they didn’t call anybody or do anything,” Monessen police Chief John Mandarino said. “Our investigation led us to believe they went out looking for crack cocaine.”

An autopsy conducted by Dr. Cyril Wecht determined Vince's cause of death to be acute combined drug toxicity (cocaine, Oxycodone and Trazodone), acute pulmonary congestion, acute pulmonary edema, and acute congestion of the spleen and liver.

Police said both Beresh and Walker allegedly continued making inconsistent and false statement to investigators about the incident.

Police executed a search warrant at Walker's residence and allegedly found several items associated with drug use, including two pipes used for smoking crack cocaine and a marijuana pipe.

Walker and Beresh were charged with hindering apprehension – conceals or destroys evidence, tampering with physical evidence, false reports and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.