Manslaughter charge follows overdose death

Jessica Pierce

A grand jury has indicted a Manchester man for allegedly causing the death of Katie Saxby last summer by not seeking medical attention for her when she overdosed on heroin.

Carl Erb Jr., 48, pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter at an arraignment hearing before Judge William Kocher in Ontario County Court Wednesday morning. He is free from the Ontario County Jail, having posted $5,000 cash bail.

Erb was accompanied in court by his parents and a sister. He is being represented by attorney Frank Hamlin.

 The manslaughter charge — initially pressed by city police in early October — accuses Erb  of “recklessly” causing Ms. Saxby’s death by not taking her to a hospital or calling for help on July 14.  “The heroin killed her, but I should have got her help,” he said in a statement to Canandaigua city police that was read aloud at a hearing in city court.

Erb told his family that he saw Ms. Saxby standing by the side of a Rochester street that summer day and, recognizing her from Canandaigua, offered to give her a ride back to the Saltonstrall Street mobile home park where she was staying with her mother.

In his police statement, Erb said he  then drove to get three dime-bags of crack cocaine that he and Ms. Saxby smoked in the car before driving back toward Canandaigua. During the trip, Ms. Saxby injected heroin; Erb told police he didn’t know how much she used or where the drug had come from.

She then “nodded out,” Erb reportedly told police, and leaned against the passenger-side window of the car with her eyes closed. She was unresponsive and moaned, but did not speak, as he allegedly pulled her from the car and left her by the side of the road in the mobile-home park at about 10:45 p.m. Her body was found by a passerby at 12:39 a.m., and she was later pronounced dead at Thompson Hospital.

In court Wednesday, Kocher allowed Erb to remain free from jail on bail until his next court appearance in February. Hamlin told the judge his client was in court “on his own accord” and is living in a “stable environment.”

“He’s taking appropriate steps in his life,” Hamlin said.

Jessica Pierce can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 250, or at jpierce@mpnewspapers.com.