Manslaughter Conviction In Fatal Meth Overdose

SNOW HILL — A Worcester County Circuit Court jury deliberated for over 10 hours last week before finding a Westminster man guilty of providing a female victim with a fatal dose of methadone and then watching her slowly die last July while on vacation in Ocean City.

Michael Thomas Dill, 30, of Westminster, was found guilty of manslaughter, distribution of methadone and reckless endangerment last week after a two-day trial in Circuit Court in Snow Hill. After deliberating into the evening hours last Thursday, the jury found Dill guilty of providing the victim, 31-year-old Qianna Dinkens, also of Westminster, with a lethal dose of methadone and then watching her slowly overdose in front of him and her young son while vacationing in Ocean City last July.

Dill now faces as many as 50 years in prison for the manslaughter conviction and awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Assistant State’s Attorneys Steve Rakow and Julie Guyer have filed intentions to seek enhanced penalties for Dill under the subsequent offender statute.

According to police reports, Dill, Dinkens and Dinkens’ young son, along with other family members, arrived in Ocean City last July 3 for a family vacation. Dill, who was undergoing treatment for heroin addiction, had with him an undisclosed amount of methadone, prescribed to him as part of his treatment. Methadone is often prescribed to heroin addicts as a means to wean them off of their addiction.

Dill was prescribed just enough methadone needed to get through his vacation in Ocean City and was ordered to keep it in a locked box to prevent others from accessing the powerful narcotic, according to police reports

Around 12:17 a.m. on July 6, about three days into the planned seven-day vacation, Ocean City Police responded to a residence on S. Heron Drive to assist EMS with an apparent overdose. OCPD officers arrived to find EMS technicians performing CPR on Dinkins, who was unresponsive and lying on the floor of the living room. Dinkins was taken to Atlantic General, where she had no pulse or blood pressure upon arrival. According to police reports, her low body temperature indicated she had been technically deceased for an extended amount of time before she was revived.

Meanwhile, Dill told investigators he was a recovering heroin addict and had been prescribed methadone as part of his treatment. Dill told police when other family members left, Dinkins told him she wanted to get “messed up bad,” and he told her about the methadone he had brought with him on the trip. Dill told police he never saw the victim take any methadone, although he checked his supply and noticed some of it was missing. He also told police he knew Dinkins had taken the methadone because of the way she was acting.

Dill also told police he took pictures of the victim at various stages so he could show her what she looked like the next day. Those pictures were presented to the jury as evidence during the two-day trial last week. Dill also told police he wasn’t overly concerned with the victim’s downward spiral because he had seen her in that condition before and she always pulled out of it, according to police reports.

Dill told police he fell asleep around 11 p.m. and called to the victim to come to bed, but when he found her unresponsive on the floor, he knew something was wrong and decided to call 911. When asked why he waited to call 911, he told police he was thinking about calling earlier, but was afraid the victim would be mad at him when she recovered.

Meanwhile, the victim had been transported to the intensive care unit at AGH where a nuclear study revealed no brain flow. Essentially, there was no hope for her recovery and a ventilator was keeping her alive. The victim was pronounced deceased shortly before 9 a.m. on July 7, according to police reports.

OCPD detectives continued the investigation in the days following the victims’ death and spoke to a friend, who said Dill answered when she called that night and he told her he had given methadone to the victim. Detectives also talked to the victim’s mother, who said Dill told her he had given the methadone to the victim. The victim’s mother also told police Dill had told her about the pictures he took of Dinkins prior to calling 911.

Detectives met again with Dill several days after the incident and Dill told them he had brought the methadone to Ocean City in a locked box as ordered by his treatment program, but that he transferred it to a backpack which he kept in a closet in the vacation home because he didn’t want other family members to know he was being treated for heroin addiction.

Dill told police when other family members left, the victim told him she wanted to get high and he suggested drinking alcohol, but when she insisted on something stronger, he told her about the methadone in his backpack. Dill denied actually giving methadone to the victim, but he did tell her where it was.

When asked if he made any attempt to stop her from taking it, he allegedly replied, “I wouldn’t have stopped her,” according to police reports.