Lawrence man convicted in fentanyl-related death of 33-year-old

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Lawrence man convicted in fentanyl-related death of 33-year-old

Cheryl Cadue | PIO

February 2, 2024 1:41 pm

Media Release

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that Randell Mark Smith, 32, of Lawrence, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance in the fentanyl-related death of a 33-year-old Lawrence man.

“Joining forces with law enforcement, my office is committed to aggressively prosecuting these traffickers to bring them to justice and to save lives,” District Attorney Valdez said. “However, stemming this epidemic requires every person in our community recognize the dangers of fentanyl and understand that one pill can kill.”

Charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in the 1500 block of Pin Oak Drive during the early morning hours on October 8, 2021. Lawrence Police were called to the home where a 33-year-old male resident was found deceased on the living room floor. An autopsy later determined fentanyl intoxication as the cause of death. The police investigation then led police to Smith as the distributor of the fentanyl-laced pill taken by the deceased.

Smith also pleaded no contest Friday to driving under the influence, his second offense, in a separate incident that occurred on October 6, 2021, when a Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy observed Smith driving erratically on E 1900 Road, north of K-10 highway.

Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald represented the State of Kansas. The matters were investigated by the Lawrence Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Smith’s sentencing was set by Judge Stacey Donovan for 10 a.m., on March 25, 2024, at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

Smith faces a minimum of 31 months to a maximum of 136 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) for the involuntary manslaughter conviction and a minimum of 14 months to a maximum of 51 months in the KDOC for the unlawful distribution of a controlled substance conviction. Additionally, Smith faces up to a year in the Douglas County jail for the driving under the influence, second offense, conviction. 

Media Contact

Cheryl Cadue

Public Information Officer

Douglas County District Attorney's Office