Ahead of hearing in Fresno’s first Fentanyl murder case, man charged with accessory takes plea

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — A preliminary hearing is set to get underway for the first-ever fentanyl related murder case in Fresno County.

Cassidy Gonzalez has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of Jade Alexandra Dreith.

Just moments before a court room was assigned, another defendant in the case agreed to a plea deal.

Alejandro Laverde Nuno was charged with drug charges and being an accessory after the fact in connection with Cassidy Gonzalez.

She is the first person in Fresno County to be charged with murder for selling pills that led to the fentanyl-related death of Jade Alexandra Dreith.

Laverde Nuno pleaded no contest to all charges against him.

Deputy District Attorney Kendall Reynolds says Laverde Nuno was charged because he helped Gonzalez evade arrest.

“His conduct was done with that intent, as well with the appropriate knowledge that a murder had occurred.” Reynolds said.

Gonzalez has previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In October, family members of Jade Alexandra Dreith say she knew the dangers of fentanyl, but was made to believe she was taking a pain killer that would relieve her chronic back pain.

“She didn’t plan to kill herself or anything like that she was folding laundry, eating a snack and playing with her dog and fell asleep and never woke up.” Say Dreith, the victim’s sister said.

Deputy DA Reynolds says these cases show the commitment by the district attorney’s office to bring awareness to the dangers of fentanyl and consequences for those responsible.

“If the investigation and the evidence is there in order to charge murder and charge those around the attended murder or circumstances — we will do so.” Reynolds said.

Laverde Nuno is expected to be sentenced on March 13.

He faces a maximum of 4 years, 8 months.

Gonzalez’ preliminary hearing for the first-degree murder case is set to start Tuesday morning.

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