Matthew H. Little of Carroll County has been charged in the death of 14-year-old Jonathan Minard. (Carroll County Sheriff's Office)
CARROLLTON (Tusco TV) - An arrest in the death of a Delroy teen found buried in a shallow grave days after he went missing is bringing a more than four-month-long investigation to a close.
Sheriff's officials arrested 30-year-old Matthew H. Little of Carroll County Wednesday on a 15-count grand jury indictment in connection with the death of 14-year-old Jonathan Minard.
Little is charged with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter, permitting drug abuse, and corrupting another with drugs, along with counts of reckless homicide and child endangerment.
Prosecutor Steven Barnett during a press conference Wednesday said those charges correspond to different ways the evidence supports his culpability in the teen’s death:
“In count one, it is alleged that by committing the offense of corrupting another with drugs, Jonathan Minard’s death occurred as a result of being furnished a fentanyl-related compound by Little that allegedly resulted in his death.
“In count four it is alleged that Little being a person who controlled certain real property permitted the property to be used for the purposes of committing a felony drug offense, which that underlying felony was corrupting another with drugs also that also allegedly resulted in Jonathan Minard’s death.
“In count six, it is alleged that Little was a person who had custody or control of a child or was in loco parentis of a child and created a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety by violating a duty of care and protection of a child that also resulted in a risk of serious harm to the child and thus resulting in the death of Jonathan Minard.
“Count seven alleges involuntary manslaughter as a felony of the third degree that alleges that Little committed a misdemeanor offense of permitting drug abuse that resulted in Jonathan’s death which also involves an allegation that a felony drug possession offense occurred at the real property under the control or custody of Little.”
Little is also charged with gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Barnett said those counts allege Little concealed Minard’s body knowing an investigation was likely and then disposed of it in a way “that would outrage reasonable community senses.” Little is also charged with misdemeanor counts of falsification and failing to report knowledge of a death.
Minard's body was recovered from a Washington Township farm April 19th, six days after he went missing. His death was later ruled a homicide caused by acute fentanyl intoxication. Barnett said the evidence does not suggest the teen’s death was intentional.
Barnett thanked the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for their “vigilant work” in conducting the investigation, and the public for their patience during the process.
“This was a case that involved many hours of investigative work and the processing of a substantial amount of information. Because of the information involved, it took time for all of us to do our due diligence to be able to review the matter and appropriately prepare the case for this stage of the process.”
Sheriff Dale Williams thanked everyone who assisted with the search, and his detectives, Ohio BCI, the FBI for their role in getting the case to this point.
“This case from the beginning, there was some things that was evident. There was some things that was not evident. This sheriff and everyone that worked on this case was wanting the person or persons responsible for Jonathan’s death, and we are there."
Little will appear before Carroll County Common Pleas Court today for an initial bond hearing with an arraignment hearing to follow in around a week.