Witness ruled unreliable in Goleaner case

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Judge Dennis Doyle ruled recently that a state’s witness in the Julie Goleaner case was unreliable.  

According to Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann, the witness in question was a jailhouse informant who has five prior theft convictions, a gun-related conviction and testified she had been arrested for theft “so many times she didn’t remember them all.” 

With Doyle’s Oct. 18 ruling, the informant will not be allowed to testify in the case. 

Goleaner, 38, of Troy,  formerly of Columbia, is charged with drug-induced homicide in connection with a man’s August 2016 death in Columbia. 

She is accused of knowingly delivering heroin and fentanyl to Jason M. Yaekel and also delivering alprazolam to Yaekel while in Metter Park in Columbia on Aug. 4, 2016. 

Yaekel, 32, was found unresponsive inside his home in the 500 block of Kremmel Street in Columbia later that evening.

Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill ruled Yaekel’s death to be accidental, with the cause listed as “acute heroin and fentanyl intoxication.” 

Represented by Thomas M. Daley of Belleville, Goleaner has pled not guilty to the drug-induced homicide charge. 

Doyle also ruled that one charge against Goleaner – for delivering alprazolam – must be tried separately from the drug-induced homicide charge and two charges of delivering heroin and fentanyl. 

The drug-induced homicide charge against Goleaner is a Class X felony that carries a sentence of 15-30 years in prison if convicted. 

Goleaner has prior drug convictions in both Monroe and Montgomery counties. She remains free on bond.

Hitzemann said the state must now decide what it will do with the witness not being allowed to testify and the counts being severed. 

“We’re evaluating what we do here going forward,” Hitzemann said. 

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