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New Milford man charged with evidence tampering in 2009 drug death

Published 8:47 pm, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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A New Milford resident has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the heroin overdose death of a man in an apartment on West Street in New Milford last year.

Nathan Yantorno is scheduled to appear Sept. 21 in state Superior Court in Litchfield, where he also faces charges of making a false statement and possession of narcotics.

Mr. Yantorno, 32, allegedly lied to New Milford police investigating the death of 36-year-old Terrence Manning on April 8, 2009, in the bathroom of the apartment Mr. Yantorno shared with his girlfriend and the couple's then-18-month-old son, according to court documents.

Police said Mr. Yantorno also got rid of full and empty heroin packets that were in the bathroom before officers arrived in response to a 911 call.

Mr. Yantorno, who is represented by a public defender, remains in custody on $2,500 bond.

Police said Mr. Yantorno initially told them he knew Mr. Manning only slightly and had no idea of his drug history when Mr. Manning showed up at his apartment and asked to use the bathroom.

After Mr. Manning didn't come out, Mr. Yantorno used a butter knife to open the door and found him dead on the floor, with no signs of narcotics or paraphernalia around, police said.

However, police said, Mr. Yantorno later admitted he and Mr. Manning had been driven to the apartment by Joseph Oliveira, who they said was a known drug dealer, and he'd witnessed Mr. Oliveira selling heroin to Mr. Manning.

Before police were called, Mr. Yantorno said he phoned Mr. Oliveira, who told him to get rid of the drug evidence, according to police.

Police said Mr. Yantorno also said he lied because he was afraid the state would take away his son.

Mr. Oliveira, 32, was arrested in October for selling narcotics to Mr. Manning. He pleaded guilty and is currently serving an eight-year prison term for the drug sale and other crimes.

Mr. Yantorno was taken into custody last week after he was stopped by Danbury police on a motor vehicle charge and turned over to New Milford police.

Contact John Pirro at jpirro@newstimes.com or 203-731-3342.