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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Man sentenced for girlfriend’s overdose

A Stevens County man who provided methamphetamine to a woman who later died of a brain hemorrhage  has been sentenced to 51 months in prison.

James W. Swinney, 51, obtained meth and shared it with his girlfriend, Tamara Anderson, 39, in March 2010. The drug caused Anderson's blood pressure to increase, resulting in a hemorrhage in her brain that resulted in her death a few days later.

Swinney pleaded guilty to homicide by controlled substance on March 22 and was sentenced in April.

He filed a motion asking the court to reconsider the sentence, then filed another motion asking to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial.

A judge rejected that request May 10.

Swinney said “getting the meth, was not a me thing, but a we thing,” Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen wrote in his weekly column. "He apparently did not feel he had really done anything wrong when he shared the meth he had obtained with Ms. Anderson."

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.