Jury convicts Emlenton man in drug death trial

It took a Venango County jury less than three hours Thursday to convict an Emlenton man of drug delivery resulting in death and other charges related to the overdose death of a Clarion County woman in 2017.

The verdict came following two days of testimony and closing arguments earlier Thursday in the trial for Shaun Long, 51.

Testimony during the trial had indicated that Kayla Dunlap, 28, of Callensburg, died in September 2017 after taking drugs at Long’s home in Scrubgrass Township.

Long was convicted of furnishing Acetylfentanyl (an extremely potent opioid analgesic) to Dunlap, causing her to overdose and die. He was also found guilty of disposing of Dunlap’s body near the Butler Reservoir.

Grace O’Day, 25, who helped Long dump the body and was at Long’s home when Dunlap overdosed, testified Tuesday about the series of events before and after Dunlap’s death.

Jurors at one point during deliberations asked to view photos that had been presented by the prosecution and to have sections of the law pertaining to manslaughter and drug delivery resulting in death charges read to them again.

The panel, made up of eight men and four women, returned shortly after reviewing the photos with its verdict.

“I am very happy with the jury’s work on this case,” Venango County District Attorney Shawn White said. “I am also very happy with the investigators who worked this case. Not many people work as hard as these two state troopers did to make sure that what actually happened to Kayla was brought to the surface.”

“I believe the jury gave the right verdict so that the person responsible was held responsible,” White added.

Long was remanded to the Venango County jail, and Judge Robert Boyer ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for March 31.

White said the conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Joe Ryan said he would wait until after the sentencing to determine if he would file an appeal.

Long was found guilty of drug delivery resulting in death, hindering apprehension or prosecution-concealing or destroying evidence, hindering apprehension or prosecution by providing false information to law enforcement officials, two counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver, and single counts of involuntary manslaughter-abuse of a corpse, false reports-reported offense did not occur, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, obstruction of the administration of law and other government function, possession of a controlled substance and use-possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was found not guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

O’Day was also charged in the case and eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of furnishing authorities with information without knowledge.