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Involuntary manslaughter charge dismissed in drug death case

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:08 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:11 a.m. CST

Judge Terry Rickers dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge Monday against 29-year-old Newton resident Matthew A. McNeer.

McNeer was charged in February following the drug-related death of 38-year-old Steven D. Petro, who died after purchasing methamphetamine from McNeer. McNeer was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, a Class C felony, in connection with the case.

McNeer also was ordered to pay $16,232.18 in restitution to Petro’s wife and a $1,000 fine plus court costs.

After responding to a report of an unresponsive male, identified as Petro, at 3:55 a.m. Feb. 5 at 213 W. Third St. S. in Newton, authorities determined McNeer provided less than a gram of meth to Petro in exchange for Vicodin pills shortly before Petro was found unresponsive by his wife. Petro was treated at a Des Moines hospital but died the day after he was found.

McNeer also had been charged with third-degree burglary in a separate case, and that charge also was dismissed this week. McNeer was charged April 4 after Newton resident reported a checkbook and a few dollars in coins stolen from his home in the 400 block of East 16th Street North. McNeer was interviewed April 8 and admitted to entering the residence without permission and taking the items.

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