Man charged in friend’s overdose death
June 8, 2007
A Carson City man was in custody Friday, charged with second-degree murder in the overdose death of a friend.
Anthony Guastella, 21, a laborer, was arrested at his home Thursday at 10:32 p.m. on suspicion of felony second-degree murder and sale of a controlled substance.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Carson City Justice Court, Guastella allegedly sold eight 10 mg tablets of methadone for $80 to Steven Xavier, 21.
On Feb. 14 at about 1 p.m. Xavier was found unresponsive by his mother in his Silver Oak apartment.
Sheriff’s records indicated Xavier never regained consciousness and died at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center on March 2.
A roommate told investigators he had last seen Xavier at 10 p.m. the previous evening, and Xavier had told him he’d taken all eight pills. The roommate also said he was there when Xavier allegedly asked Guastella to get him the pills.
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According to the police report, Guastella told investigators he and Xavier were good friends and he had on several occasions ignored Xavier’s requests for pills, but he eventually agreed to get the pills.
Xavier allegedly drove to Reno and purchased the pills from Jennifer Ott for $80, then returned to Carson City and sold them to Xavier on Feb. 13, the report states.
Based on the investigation, the case was forwarded to the Carson City District Attorney’s Office for review, and a warrant for Guastella’s arrest was issued Thursday.
On March 29, after an undercover purchase of drugs, Jennifer Ott, also known as Jennifer Stoltz, was arrested by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of felony sale of controlled substance and possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription, according to Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Keast Brooke. Ott was released on her own recognizance.
Unrelated to Xavier’s death, Ott was again arrested on April 24 by the Sparks Police Department on suspicion of drunken driving, sale of a controlled substance and possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription. She posted bail.
On Guastella’s Myspace blog, he wrote March 9 about Xavier’s death, which came five months after the suicide of another friend.
“My other good friend Steven died. I was in the hospital every day by his side, yet when his heart finally gave out, I felt relieved. Not because I wanted him to go, but I truly felt in my heart that he was gonna be alright.”
And on Guastella’s main Myspace page, he wrote:
“I have once again lost another really good friend, and I can’t take this (expletive) no more. You hear this all the time, but why do the good die young?”
Guastella also mentions struggling with drug use.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I’m addicted to pills. I have been clean since a good friend of mine has passed, and it’s really not that easy, but I’m proud of myself for being clean.”
Guastella is being held in the Carson City Jail on $25,000 bail.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.