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News >  Idaho

Manslaughter charge filed in NIC death

Taryn Brodwater Staff writer

A former North Idaho College student is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter for the 2004 drug-overdose death of a fellow student.

A grand jury on Friday handed down an indictment against Cameron James Jester, 19, for providing the designer drug that led to 18-year-old Gloria Discerni’s death.

Authorities initially thought that Discerni had died of an LSD overdose, but the drug was later determined to be 5-MeO-AMT, a designer drug likely manufactured in an illegal laboratory.

Jester, of Nebraska, was charged in October 2004 with two drug charges and sentenced to three years’ probation. Though Coeur d’Alene police recommended that manslaughter charges be filed then, prosecutors said they had to wait for forensic autopsy results.

“The substance that was delivered to her was such an unusual substance that it took a laboratory in Miami, Florida, to do the analysis,” said Lansing Haynes, Kootenai County’s chief deputy prosecutor. “We were at their mercy.”

Haynes said he couldn’t comment on why a grand jury was convened to consider the evidence against Jester. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The indictment remained under seal Tuesday.

Discerni, a student from Cottage Grove, Ore., went into a coma following a drug overdose during a party at an apartment near the NIC campus. Police said she lost consciousness after ingesting several drops of the drug, which had been mixed into a glass of orange juice.

The college freshman was in a coma for about three days, her condition worsening, when her family asked that she be taken off life support.

Discerni’s family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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