Two plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2015 heroin overdose death


Eric Legare, 31, and Brian Welvaert, 34, both of Athol, pled guilty in separate hearings in Franklin Superior Court, today, to involuntary manslaughter and other charges in connection with the May 2015 death of Jordan Tarbell, 21 years old, of Athol, as a result of a heroin overdose.

Legare pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge, 3 counts of distribution of heroin, a count of possession with intention to distribute heroin and a charge of conspiracy to violate the drug laws.

Judge Mark Mason sentenced him to a total of 5 years to 5 years and one day in state prison with conditions. He will be given credit for 451 days served in jail but will not be eligible for parole.

Welvaert pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, distribution of heroin, conspiracy to violate the drug laws and misleading police.

He was sentenced to 6 months in jail with two years probation. He was the driver of the car with which Legare bought heroin in Holyoke to distribute in the Athol area.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney and Chief Trial Counsel Jeremy Bucci, who prosecuted the case, said he hopes other would-be heroin dealers will be deterred by the consequences of selling the lethal drug.

"This case was resolved in a way that held Mr. Legare completely accountable for what he did, " Bucci said.