Irwin woman charged with drug delivery resulting in boyfriend’s overdose death
Cathi Rhodes Honse remembers the last time she saw her son alive. It was Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. They had a picnic at Twin Lakes Park.
“I felt such happiness that day,” she recalled Tuesday.
She gave him a goodbye hug and kiss. They made plans to do it again.
But three days later, Erik J. Honse, 44, of East Huntingdon overdosed on a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. He died Sept. 2, 2016.
Rhodes Honse learned Tuesday that someone had been charged in her son’s death. She pored through a criminal complaint state police filed against Sherry Lynn Bizich, 46, of Irwin, who is accused of giving Honse, whom she had been dating for about 10 years, the fatal dose of drugs.
Troopers allege Bizich on Aug. 31, 2016, contacted a drug dealer in Lawrenceville — identified only as “Jay” in court papers — to buy five stamp bags of heroin she planned to share with Honse. Bizich paid $60 for the drugs, and she and Honse returned to their East Huntingdon home, where he injected two stamp bags marked “the Cure,” court
Bizich told police Honse fell unconscious almost immediately and, after failed attempts to wake him, she called 911 from a nearby auto body shop where he worked. He later died at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.
Bizich is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy and drug possession. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 24. She did not return a phone message.
Drug delivery resulting in death can be prosecuted as a third-degree homicide, which carries maximum penalty of 20 to 40 years in prison.
Rhodes Honse said her son and Bizich were going to get help after recently being released from jail. Bizich told troopers that they “discussed using heroin to get high a final time before going to the rehab,” according to a criminal complaint.
Rhodes Honse described her son as popular and handsome. She said he excelled at fixing — and racing — cars. He once owned his own shop on Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg and won numerous trophies racing at Keystone Raceway Park near New Alexandria.
“Erik was so well-loved by so many people,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the long lines snaking in and out of the funeral home.”
So many visitors had nice things to say, confessing that her son was their first kiss or friends who wanted to be just like him, Rhodes Honse said. She had been thinking about him more often in the past month or so.
“He was such a lovable kind of guy and smart,” she said.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, firstname.lastname@example.org or via