Daughter Of Ex-Legislator Is Indicted In Drug Death

By: Susan Weich, of the Post-Dispatch
(reprinted from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 11, 2005)

Kacie Kissell, whose father is a former state representative, is accused of killing Joshua Dodson by injecting him with heroin and cocaine.

The daughter of former state Rep. Don Kissell has been indicted on charges including felony murder in the drug overdose death last month of a St. Peters man. The charges against Kacie Kissell, 23, were issued by a St. Charles County grand jury and became public Wednesday. They include six counts related to drug delivery and possession.

Police were called to Don Kissell’s home in O’Fallon, Mo., early July 1 after two male acquaintances of Kissell’s daughter were found unconscious by the family pool.

Joshua Dodson, 20, died later that day. The other man, 21, of St. Charles, recovered. Police say the men had been injected with a speedball, a mixture of heroin and cocaine.

Don Kissell, a lobbyist for the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and the cities of St. Peters and St. Charles, was not at home when the overdoses occurred. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

O’Fallon Mayor Donna Morrow says problems with the investigation of the death at Kissell’s home were a factor in the recent dismissal of O’Fallon Police Chief Steve Talbott.

Witnesses at the house told police that Kacie Kissell had got some of the drugs in St. Louis and brought them back, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas said.

"Joshua’s death was caused through the delivery of a controlled substance, that substance being heroin and cocaine, which was delivered and injected by Kacie Kissell," he said.

Banas said that whether Kacie Kissell intended to cause Dodson’s death is irrelevant. The felony murder charge stems from the fact that she committed another felony, in this case delivery of a controlled substance, that led to his death, he said.

Kacie Kissell was arrested shortly after the incident on a probation violation. She had pleaded guilty in July 2003 to charges related to injecting heroin into the arm of a 16-year-old girl.

Kacie Kissell was being held in state prison in Vandalia, Mo., until she was brought back to St. Charles on the grand jury indictment, which includes an involuntary manslaughter charge that a jury may consider as an alternative to the murder charge. Her bail was set at $200,000 in cash.

Scott Rosenblum, attorney for Kissell, said he had reviewed the indictment and that Kissell will enter a plea of not guilty to each count.

"I feel very comfortable with our position, and we’re looking forward to litigating this case in a courtroom," he said.

Rosenblum declined to discuss the relationship between Kissell and Dodson, saying, "I don’t think it’s appropriate to get into any of the facts."

Family members of Dodson, however, say the two were barely acquainted.

Keith Dodson, a spokesman, said in a written statement: "We are pleased that a thorough investigation has been conducted surrounding Joshua’s tragic death. We have no further comments at this time."

Morrow and Alderman Bob Patek allege that Talbott showed favoritism in the case by delaying the assignment of officers to investigate the death as a homicide for more than two days, even after being directed to do so by the mayor. Don Kissell and Talbott were acquainted because Talbott sits on the board of the chiefs association.

Talbott has denied the favoritism charges, saying he "treated all criminal and internal investigations in an equal and uniform fashion."