Loved ones of a man who died of a fatal Fentanyl overdose offer an emotional victim impact statement
CANANDAIGUA — It's a tragedy all too common, yet rarely do we see the drug epidemic in such clarity as in Wednesday's sentencing of fentanyl dealer.
Known criminal and drug dealer Robin Vertigans-Bush, 37, was sentenced to six years in prison for a conviction of third-degree criminal sale of narcotics and criminally negligent homicide for selling deadly fentanyl to William Rohrer.
“She can never do enough to pay for her crimes,” said Rohrer’s sister during an emotional victim impact statement. “I’m sure there are other people she has harmed as well.”
Rohrer, who had his own criminal history, was in the process of trying to get clean and sober and had recently returned from a Pennsylvania rehab facility.
“Will struggled with addiction, and he’s one of those people we knew too many times,” said Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts. “Because of insurance reasons, he couldn’t stay in treatment. We don’t know what took him back down the road, but he wouldn’t have gotten there without this defendant.”
Investigators used cell phone records to find out where Rohrer got the deadly drugs from. Rohrer and Vertigans-Bush arranged a meeting inside a local Walmart to make the drug deal.
“Will was trying for a new beginning. He was troubled and trying to escape.” said his sister during her victim impact statement. “It’s devastating that we lost Will. Robin has taken so much from us.”
Ritts vowed that if Vertigans-Bush gets into trouble again upon her return from prison, she will not “have any options.”
Vertigans-Bush has a disturbing criminal history with at least 10 arrests, including involving taking her kids to Rochester while she sold and injected herself with drugs.
“You’ve been a lousy mom,” said Ontario County Court Judge Frederick Reed during sentencing. ”I hope your kids stay away from you for as long as possible.”
Reed praised Rohrer's family for having the courage to speak at the sentencing.
Based on the terms of the sentence, the drug dealer will serve six years for third-degree criminal sale of narcotics and two to four years served concurrently for criminally negligent homicide.
Vertigans-Bush expressed remorse and asked for mercy during her sentencing, she said she hopes to help other addicts upon her release.
"People are dying everyday," said Ontario County Assistant Public Defender Jason Housel. "Someone needs to step up and be different. I hope Robin steps up."
Rohrer’s family continued to support him throughout his battle with addition, and just prior to his death all celebrated Thanksgiving together.
“I consider this murder,” said his mother during her victim impact statement. “On the night of November 27th, 2017 I hugged Will and said good night and went upstairs. I wish I had never gone upstairs.”
His mother discovered him dead the next morning.