YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Paterson man charged in connection with the overdose death of an Allendale man took a deal from prosecutors today that will allow him to walk away with probation in exchange for his testimony against the others.
Eric “Big D” Carter, 20 (photo, above), whom authorities said they considered “peripheral” to the case, pleaded guilty in a Hackensack courtroom to conspiring to distribute heroin.
The judge also gave the two men who authorities said gave 22-year-old Brendan Cole the fatal dose until April 27 to work out their own deals or go to trial.
Charged with strict liability for the death of Cole are Timothy Volpe, 21 (photo, left), and Kaleik Easton, 20, both also of Paterson.
Authorities said Cole bought the fatal dose from both men at the Garden State Plaza on Jan. 3, 2014, the night before he was found dead in his bedroom.
Carter told Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi that he drove the other two to the mall and didn’t know what was in the package they gave Cole.
The judge set a tentative Aug. 7 sentencing date, pending the outcome of the case against his co-defendants.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer earlier this year said that a probationary sentence for Carter “is contingent on him giving truthful testimony at trial.”
He remained free, meanwhile, on $30,000 bail, posted Feb. 1.
Volpe and Easton remained held on $575,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail.