County jail inmate’s death caused by fentanyl

Another Montgomery County inmate faces charges in Dustin Rybak’s death.


Ryback was convicted in child’s death but returned to testify in another trial.

Inmate now charged faces potential 20 years to life in prison, a $1 million fine.

Dustin Ryback’s jailhouse death was an accident, a Montgomery County Coroner’s Office autopsy determined, but sources said another inmate now is accused of supplying fentanyl that caused Ryback’s death.

Rybak was “not breathing” when he was taken from the Montgomery County Jail to a local hospital on Nov. 2. Rybak, who had pleaded guilty in the 2013 death of 19-month-old Takota Hasty and was serving an 18-year sentence, died Nov. 8. He was 28.

An inmate who was housed in the Montgomery County Jail at the same time as Rybak until Nov. 11 has been federally indicted on one count of distributing fentanyl that caused the death of another.

The indictment filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court names Charles Darnell “Chuck” Spencer, 48. The document said on or about Oct. 29, Spencer distributed a substance including fentanyl that caused the death of a person only named by the initials “D.R.”

Two law enforcement sources confirmed Monday that Spencer’s indictment is for Rybak’s death.

Wearing orange-and-white Butler County Jail clothes, Spencer pleaded not guilty Monday during his arraignment in court. A federal prosecutor said a conviction of the crime could mean from 20 years to life in prison, a $1 million fine and supervised release from three years to life.

Spencer had been in Montgomery County Jail from April 29 until being moved to Butler County. He is one of several co-defendants named in an alleged heroin distribution case that also is being federally prosecuted.

Rybak was back in the jail as a possible witness in the trial of Jesse York — another man accused of killing a child. York’s trial was continued, but Rybak remained in jail instead of being taken back to the Allen Correctional Institution in Lima.

A 911 caller from the jail mentioned Rybak by name and told a dispatcher, “He is not breathing.” The caller requested an ambulance and said, “He was found in his cell.”

The caller said jail personnel were administering CPR as she was making the phone call. Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer has said Rybak “definitely was not” beaten in the jail.

Rybak pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and two counts of tampering with evidence and was sentenced to prison in March.

Hasty’s mother, Crystal Laurel, is serving a six-year sentence at Dayton Correctional Institution for involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

York is accused of killing 22-month-old Rylee Sellars in Germantown in November 2014. York’s trial is scheduled for March 7, 2017.

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