Press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

Today, the Honorable Judge Joyce Hinrichs sentenced 38-year-old Casie Lynn Dean to serve an agreed upon 7 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter of Mr. Carol Johnson, in violation of Penal Code section 192(a), and for smuggling narcotics into the jail, in violation of Penal Code section 4573. 

On January 27, 2023, during nighttime hours, Johnson (69 years) overdosed due to fentanyl poisoning while he was a passenger in Dean’s pickup truck on Highway 101 north of Orick.  Dean, who provided the fentanyl to Johnson, stopped the truck at the side of the road and pulled Johnson out of the vehicle. She dragged Johnson away from the highway, down an embankment, into a secluded location near the tree line where she abandoned him.  In that same location where Dean left him, Johnson later died of acute fentanyl toxicity.

On January 31, a missing person’s investigation into Johnson’s disappearance was initiated, ultimately leading investigators to Dean as one of the last people known to have been with Johnson.  

On February 7, Dean assisted law enforcement in locating Johson’s body where she had left him.     

At the time of sentencing, Judge Hinrichs admonished Dean for her “atrocious” actions. District Attorney Stacey Eads said after the hearing, “I would like to thank the civilians who came forward during the investigation, as well as Lead Detective Victoria Johnson and the rest of the team at the Arcata Police Department. Fentanyl is a poison that killed 64 residents of Humboldt County in 2022, and in this case, the family was able to get some semblance of justice for the loss of their loved one at the hands of the person distributing this poison.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Ian Harris, with the assistance of Senior Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees, and Dean was represented by local defense attorney Rebecca Linkous.