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Akron man sent to prison for selling drugs to 17-year-old girl who died from overdose

Posted at 4:36 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 18:24:19-04

She had a long life ahead of her. Rachel DeMaio was just 17-years-old and a junior at Woodridge High School, but she also struggled with addiction.

In October of 2016, the Cuyahoga Falls teen died from an accidental overdose of carfentanil, an opioid so powerful it's used to sedate elephants.

On Friday morning, the man who sold her various drugs several times learned his punishment.

Jamarr King, 26, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of drug trafficking, was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Paul Gallagher.

Rachel's mother, Cindy DeMaio, was not satisfied.

"I just feel that the sentence was way too low for all the evidence that we have," she said. "I do feel like the court let us down today."

Cindy and Rachel's father, Russ DeMaio, gave emotional impact statements before the sentence was handed down.

"Losing my daughter was the worst day of my life. I found her face down on a bed barely alive," Cindy DeMaio said.

Russ DeMaio directed many of his comments to King as he sat at the defendant's table wearing a blue shirt.

"I have wondered what type of person would sell drugs to make money, especially to children. Well, now I know," the father said. "It's a person who has little regard for others. It's a person that places money over human life."

Prosecutors said King sold different drugs to Rachel several times, including heroin and carfentanil the day before she died.

"He was playing Russian roulette with Rachel's life," said Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Jon Baumoel.

However, prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge because they couldn't prove King provided the specific carfentanil that killed the teen.

"He is not responsible for her death," said King's attorney Noah Munyer. "No matter how sad it is."

Several teens known as "Rachel's Angels" also attended the court hearing.

Cindy DeMaio started the non-profit anti-drug education program shortly after her daughter's death.

The Angels go into schools throughout Summit County and speak to other teens about the dangers of doing drugs.

"We just want to keep her memory alive because Rachel would want us to do this. We believe Rachel would want us to stop anyone else from having to go through something like this," said Maggie Weber who participates in the program.

Prior to sentencing, Cindy DeMaio joined about 15 people outside of the Summit County Courthouse to call for stiffer penalties for drug dealers.

"I do feel that the drug dealers are running around killing our youth, killing our families," she said. "We have to stick together to protect our kids, to protect our families."

But the heartbroken mother said she's focusing most of her efforts on growing Rachel's Angels. She would like it to go national.

"I just don't want my precious daughter to ever be forgotten."

More information about Rachel's Angels can be found here.