Visalia man gets 9 years in drug overdose death

Jose Manuel Marquez
Jose Manuel Marquez Tulare County District Attorney’s Office

A Visalia man who gave methamphetamine to a 17-year old girl who went into convulsions and died has been sentenced to nine years in state prison, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Jose Manuel Marquez, 26, pleaded no contest to one felony count of furnishing a controlled substance to a minor with the special allegation of causing great bodily injury.

About 9:15 p.m. April 8, 2015, Visalia Police Department answered a call for help at Marquez’s home and found a 15-year-old boy, an 18-year-old woman, Marquez and the victim.

Marquez (originally identified as Jose Marquez Tovar) had picked up the party-goers, drove them to his home, prepared methamphetamine and offered it to everyone, the District Attorney’s Office said.

The 17-year-old girl took the illegal drug and within minutes began having seizures and died of an overdose.

By pleading no contest, Marquez is convicted of a strike offense and must serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

He was also ordered to pay a $300 restitution fine.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Bethany M. Willcutt and investigated by Visalia police Detective Mona Whaley.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold