Man pleads guilty to selling fatal dose of fentanyl


A central city man pleaded guilty Monday to selling a University of Toledo chemical engineering student a fatal dose of drugs in 2016. 

Johnathan Zimmerman, 30, of the 2200 block of Auburn Avenue, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, stemming from the death of Jordan Robertson, 30, of Toledo, who was found dead in a car in a Central Avenue parking lot after ingesting a fatal dose of fentanyl. 

Mr. Robertson’s mother, Elizabeth Robertson, previously told The Blade her son was on his way to take an exam. Text messages indicated Mr. Robertson was intending to buy heroin.

His death was ruled an accident by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office, caused by lack of oxygen to his brain because of a fentanyl overdose. There was no heroin in his system, said Dr. Robert Forney, a forensic toxicologist. The family took Mr. Robertson off life support March 28, 2016.

Zimmerman was also charged with corrupting another with drugs, aggravated trafficking, trafficking in heroin, possessing heroin, having weapons under disability, receiving stolen property, and participation in a criminal gang, but those charges were dismissed through plea negotiations.

Jennifer Liptack-Wilson, assistant county prosecutor, recommended Zimmerman be sentenced to five years in prison, though he faces a maximum of up to 11 years in prison, following five years of post-release control. 

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Dean Mandros will sentence Zimmerman on Oct. 25.

County prosecutors across Ohio have been going after people they can prove provided drugs that caused a fatal overdose.

Federal prosecutors also have stepped up such prosecutions, particularly when the suspect is a large-scale dealer.

Contact Allison Dunn at, 419-213-2134, or on Twitter @AllisonDBlade.