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Heroin Overdose Leads to Death, SK Arrest

Stephanie Dawn Sousa, 21, is arrested for felony drug possession after a friend – Seth E. Johnson, 23 – overdoses on heroin.

Unless otherwise noted, information about the following incidents was supplied by the South Kingstown Police Department. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.

Stephanie Dawn Sousa, 21, of 49 Orchard Ave., Apt. #3, South Kingstown, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 and charged with three felony counts of possession, and also possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

According to police, at noon they received a report of a man – identified as Seth E. Johnson, 23, of 1213 Kingstown Road, Wakefield – overdosing on heroin at Sousa’s apartment.

Police said when they arrived on scene, Sousa appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic, and had trouble answering any questions. Police noted several syringe caps on the floor of many of the rooms, and a marijuana roach on the floor of the kitchen.

According to police, Sousa kept requesting to smoke a cigarette, which they would not allow her to do inside the apartment because of the lifesaving efforts going on with Johnson. Paramedics found a syringe under Johnson, and police saw a digital scale in a handbag of Sousa while she was moving on a couch.

Johnson was transported from the apartment to South County Hospital for treatment. However, police said he then refused treatment and checked himself out of the hospital at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 16.

According to police, they searched Sousa’s apartment and uncovered drug paraphernalia. The exact items seized were not listed in police reports, but Sousa was arrested and charged with three counts of felony drug possession.

However, rescue personnel noted that Sousa’s health appeared to be at risk, most likely due to the effects of a narcotic. She was also transported to South County Hospital for treatment as a result.

Sousa was scheduled for arraignment at Fourth Division District Court at 9 a.m. Friday.

According to online records, charges against Sousa have yet to be entered. She has five prior entries, along with an alias of Jenna Deibler:

  • In June 2011, Sousa pleaded no contest to a Providence police charge of misdemeanor shoplifting. She was ordered to serve a year of probation and a year-long suspended sentence.
  • In January 2011, Sousa pladed no contest to a Warwick police charge of receiving stolen goods valued at less than $1,500. She was ordered to serve a year-long suspended sentence and a year of probation, to pay restitution, and to complete 10 hours of community service and a mental health program. After violating probation, she was ordered to serve 60 days home confinement.
  • In December 2010, Sousa pleaded no contest to a South Kingstown police charge of receiving stolen goods valued at less than $1,500. She was ordered to serve a year-long suspended sentence and a year of probation. She later served 60 days home confinement for probation violations.
  • In August 2010, Sousa pleaded no contest to a South Kingstown police charge of simple assault. In return for her plea, a charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed. She was initially ordered to serve a year of probation, but after two probation violations, she was ordered to serve 60 days home confinement.
  • In August 2010, a South Kingstown police charge of domestic trespassing against Sousa was dismissed.

Johnson also had several past contacts with area departments. On Aug. 10, Johnson was for an assault that allegedly occurred at the Lighthouse Inn on July 18.

In August 2011, Johnson allegedly confessed to several open breaking and entering cases in South Kingstown, and . He allegedly committed these crimes with a juvenile accomplice.

He pleaded to a charge of felony breaking and entering in April, and he was ordered to serve five years probation, to complete substance abuse and mental health counseling, and to pay restitution.

Johnson also has several other arrests, according to online court records:

  • In November 2011, he pleaded no contest to a University of Rhode Island police charge of trespassing. He was ordered to serve a year of probation and a year-long suspended sentence.
  • In December 2010, he pleaded no contest to a Warwick police charge of receiving stolen goods valued at less than $1,500. He was ordered to serve a year of probation and a year-long suspended sentence, and to pay restitution. In return for his plea, a charge of conspiracy was dismissed.

According to police, at about 5:50 a.m. on Aug. 17 they received a call of an unresponsive male at a home on Dobson Road. The caller, a family member of Johnson, told the dispatcher than Johnson was foaming at the mouth and unresponsive.

Police said that when they arrived, Johnson showed no signs of breathing and was cold to the touch. CPR was attempted, but Johnson was unable to be resuscitated, and police said it appeared that he died several hours before their arrival.

According to police, a search of the room revealed a plastic baggie with a powdery substance, believed to be heroin. An empty bottle of painkillers was also found.

Police said that after checking himself out of the hospital, Johnson’s whereabouts from 12:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. were unknown. At about 4:30 p.m., he was at the home on Dobson Road, where he remained until his death sometime between 10 p.m. Aug. 16 and 5:50 a.m. Aug. 17.

EDITOR’S NOTE, 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22: We received confirmation from South Kingstown police that Johnson passed away as a result of a drug overdose. As a result, the story has been modified. Typically, we do not report the names of people dying from drug overdoses. However, because police investigated and criminal charges were filed against Sousa as a result, we have in this instance, and included Johnson’s past arrest history.

EDITOR’S NOTE, 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27: After receiving a supplemental report from South Kingstown police records, we have clarified the timeline of Aug. 16 and Aug. 17.

Unless otherwise noted, the information for this article was compiled from South Kingstown police reports, which are available for review by any member of the public at their . If we’re missing a call or report you’re interested in knowing about, feel free to leave a comment or to send Local Editor Stephen Greenwell a message at Stephen.greenwell@patch.com.

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Gary September 29, 2012 at 02:26 PM
The face book page will not come up. I am trying to find my sister Sue Johnson the mother of Seth Eliott Jonson. Thanks Gary 386-681-7213
CAJ December 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM
A couple of days ago there was another overdose victim at this house. Does anyone have details?
jack hammers June 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Yes, there was another overdose just before christmas. ho ho ho! does santa bring china white or black tar, I wonder? The young lady with the needle collection hasn't let her friend dying of OD slow HER roll any: http://northkingstown.patch.com/articles/nk-police-log-heroin-overdose-and-a-live-grenade Now she's booting up bath salts in addition to H! 21 is awfully young to be so hardcore. :( Seriously, I feel very bad that someone so young could be so determined to destroy themselves. It's summertime, campers. Will the foolishness of the last few years truly be a thing of the past? Or can we expect more fireworks in the lake/meadow/orchard neighborhood?
keith sousa July 08, 2014 at 10:21 PM
This story is so inaccurate it's ridicules. Stephanie is my daughter, and my wife was there minutes after the police and paramedics arrived, and this story is completely ridicules. complete inaccuracy is that my daughter was taken to the hospital, why the police added that is beyond me, but it's a lie. My daughter had called her mother, told her she had picked up a couple of packs of cigarettes for her, and my wife told her she would stop by to see her, that's how she happened to be on the scene. My daughter would not have called her mom to come over if she was shooting drugs, and if she was, why didn't the police after the hospital trip say that the hospital had confirmed she was under the influence? Because it never happened, that's why. They charged my daughter with possession, and the heroin was Mr. Johnson's, the marijuana might have been my daughters, that I'm not sure of. My daughter had trouble answering their questions because she was scared out of her mind, and getting yelled at, and wasn't totally sure what had happened. Mr Johnson DID die of an overdose, AFTER he went back to his mothers house and took HER prescription medication. The police THEN tried to charge my daughter with manslaughter, and wasted everyone's time and money instead of trying to make an arrest or launch an investigation on the person who was running to Providence every other day to buy this garbage, even after I personally told them who was bringing it to SK. The manslaughter charge was a joke, and never went anywhere, how they intended to charge a person with manslaughter of a drug that wasn't even on the scene is pretty bizarre. And since his overdose took place AFTER my daughter was in police custody, and Mr. Johnson was in a completely different location and died of a completely legal prescription med that in no way had any relation to my daughter. It's the craziest thing I ever heard. Why didn't they charge Mr. Johnson's mother with manslaughter? Because that's almost as ludicrous as charging my daughter. Furthermore, Mr. Johnson arrived BACK on the scene, wearing only his boxer shorts on a bicycle, and said he wanted his clothes, police gave him his cloths, and he replied that he was going to kill himself. The police then told him: Go ahead scumbag, go kill yourself. My wife was shocked by their attitude. My daughter later told me, if they had checked his belongings, they would have found the heroin. So either they didn't check his cloths for some unknown reason, or the emptied his pockets and charged my daughter. My daughter additionally told me, that she was in another room, and when she went into the living room, she found Mr. Johnson in obvious distress, and called 911. I almost fell off my chair when I read this, I had no idea this is what was printed. But it is a pack of lies. My comment is in no way intended to disrespect Mr. Johnson, or hurt his family, but this story is not accurate period. What should be a matter of 'public record' is that the person who was supplying the drugs to these kids, has been arrested 35 times, is a registered sex offender, that brutally beat his victim, and that the prosecuting attorney gave a plea deal that turned it into a 3rd degree sexual assault, and an animal was back on the streets in no time. And is still out there, only moved his location to Providence so he can be closer to HIS connection. Now that's a story. Investigate THAT Stephen Greenwell (Editor) and Patch
CAJ July 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM
I am sorry, but I think I read that she just died. Another victim of drugs.

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