SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of his girlfriend and their unborn baby.
Around 7:30pm on December 2, officers were called to a home on the 300 block of Osprey Avenue in Sarasota, where they found a 23-year-old woman who was 9-months-pregnant unconscious. Casey Swart, 23, was pacing in the living room and officers say he said, “Oh my God. I can’t believe it. Oh my God. I went too far.”
Officers began CPR and when EMS arrived, they rushed the woman to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she and her unborn baby were pronounced dead. The victim’s identity has not been released.
Officers believe Swart bought fentanyl and shared it with his girlfriend, resulting in a medical episode. The Medical Examiner will determine the woman’s cause of death and a toxicology report has been ordered.
In an initial interview with police, officers say Swart told them he gave his girlfriend half a Percocet tablet after she complained of being in pain from her pregnancy. He reportedly told officers that he and his girlfriend were addicts, saying he had gone to Bradenton to buy the drug and had taken half of the tablet himself on the ride home. Officers say Swart told them he believed his girlfriend had smoked her half and that the next thing he remembered was his roommate telling him that his girlfriend was on the floor.
However, officers also interviewed the man who police say drove Swart to get drugs and that man told them Swart purchased fentanyl - not Percocet. The man also told police that Swart told him that the drugs were for him, not his girlfriend, who did not use drugs, and that Swart’s girlfriend was angry because she did not want Swart to purchase drugs. The man said Swart purchased fentanyl in Bradenton and smoked half of it on the ride back to Swart’s three-bedroom home on Osprey Avenue in Sarasota.
Swart’s roommate told police that Swart returned home Monday around 7pm and went into his bedroom. When Swart’s roommate went outside to smoke a cigarette a short time later, he says Swart was in the hallway on his knees with his shirt off and that he had multiple scratches on his back. Swart’s roommate repeatedly asked if Swart was okay, but got no response.
During this time, Swart’s roommate was watching another person’s children. When that person came by to pick up the children, he asked Swart’s roommate, “How long have Swart and [Swart’s girlfriend] been at it?” He warned Swart’s roommate that he was taking his kids home and that Swart’s roommate may need to call an ambulance.
Swart’s roommate walked through the home and saw Swart’s girlfriend lying on the ground with Swart trying to wake her up. That’s when Swart’s roommate called 911 and began CPR until officers arrived.
Following a second interview in the afternoon on December 3, which is heavily redacted in the police report, Swart was arrested and charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of manslaughter/killing of an unborn child by injury to mother.
He pleaded not guilty on December 9 to the charges in a written plea that also waived his arraignment next month.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call detectives at 941-263-6836 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com