Bail hearing underway for man charged in woman’s overdose death

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A bail hearing began Tuesday for a man accused of selling a woman heroin laced with a deadly dose of a dangerous painkiller.

Aaron Andrade has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including murder, in the death of Kristen Coutu of Cranston.

Coutu died in Feb. 2014 from a drug overdose in her car near Farmington Avenue. Investigators said the substance he gave Coutu contained fentanyl, a powerful painkiller being blamed for the recent rise in overdoses in the region.

Coutu’s mother took the stand Tuesday, revealing how her daughter’s friends at a bar got her to start using cocaine. Afraid she would become a user, Coutu went through rehab, but afterwards she started dating a heroin user.

“She wanted to help him shake the heroin habit, and instead ended up getting hooked on heroin,” said Suzanne Coutu.

Kristen Coutu (Providence Journal/Family Photo)
Kristen Coutu (Providence Journal/Family Photo)

The night her daughter died, Coutu said she asked her how she looked before going out.

“Asked me how she looked, and I said beautiful as always,” she recalled.

The hearing is to determine if Andrade should be granted bail. It’s slated to resume on Wednesday.

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