Columbus man charged with involuntary manslaughter in heroin deaths

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–In one of a growing number of manslaughter cases against alleged drug dealers, Franklin County prosecutors believe they have a good case against Lester Thimmes.

The 65-year-old Columbus man is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2014 heroin overdose deaths of 49-year-old Shawna Lively and 39-year-old Corey E. Johnson.

In court on Friday, prosecutors said Thimmes admitted to buying a half gram of heroin, preparing the drug and loading it into a syringe for the two victims.

Columbus police were called to Lively’s apartment on Refugee Rd on August 25, 2014 and found Lively and Johnson, her boyfriend, dead from heroin overdoses.

Prosecutors say Lester Thimmes was later recorded admitting to supplying the heroin and also to removing the syringe from the scene and hiding heroin in his sock.

Lively’s sister, Suzanna Haydu, says she is grateful for the efforts of the prosecutor’s office and hopes charging the drug dealers become more common.

“We waited for it for 2 years and I think no family should have to go through this,” he said.

Thimmes is also charged with two counts of corrupting another with drugs, one count of illegal manufacture of drugs and one count of tampering with evidence. Bond was set at $400,000.

Ashley Zibaie, the oldest of Shawna Lively’s four daughters, says she hopes the criminal charges against Thimmes will lead to some closure for the family.

“I don’t want him out on the streets,” Zibaie said. “It’s dangerous. I mean I don’t want him to go walk free and cause another family this kind of pain.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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