Third suspect sought in death

Det. Kristin Smith

LOCK HAVEN — City police are looking for the brother of a man who was allegedly dumped along a city intersection in early October and left to die from a drug overdose.

The location of suspect Mason Winner, 18, of Woodward Township, remained unknown into last night, police said.

Winner is the brother of Brent Stabley, 24, who was found lying along a street just a couple hundred yards from Lock Haven Hospital.

Two men, Richard Gee, 24, and Blake Confer, 21, are already in custodyand facing charges related to Stabley’s death on Oct. 2.

Police said that, as of last night, Winner’s whereabouts were unknown.

Already in custody were Blake Confer, 21, of Lamar Township, and Richard Gee, 24,  of Lock Haven.

Those two and Winner are charged with recklessly endangering another person and abuse of a corpse, City Police Detective Kristin Smith confirmed to The Express.

She said Clinton County District Attorney David Strouse was involved in the decision to formally file the charges this week based on evidence gathered during the investigation, which is ongoing.

Confer was picked up Wednesday and placed in the Clinton County Correctional Facility. District Magistrate Joseph Sanders set bail at $50,000 bail.

Gee is incarcerated in the Lycoming County Correctional Facility on a probation detainer.

In a new criminal complaint filed in Confer’s arrest and obtained by The Express on Thursday, police allege that Confer “knew that Brent Stabley was experiencing a medical emergency likely due to the ingestion of drugs,” yet Confer “failed to get medical treatment for Stabley or alert any authorities to get Stabley help.”

Police allege Confer, Gee and Winner dumped Stabley along the road and left him to die.

Affidavits for Gee and Winner were not yet ready for release, officials said late yesterday afternoon.

The day after Stabley was found and amid media reports of a body found near the hospital, Gee went to City Hall and spoke with Detective Smith.

Smith said Gee “at first lied and said he didn’t know what happened to Brent Stabley,” but “later described what happened.”

The updated complaint against Confer details the four men’s movements on Oct. 1 and 2.

Gee told police he was with Stabley about 9:30 on Oct.  1 at Confer’s house in Lizardville, and Winner was there, too. Gee said he saw Stabley with speed and heroin, and Stabley gave Gee some heroin, which he snorted. Stabley then went into the bathroom and did heroin, Gee told police.

When Stabley came out of the bathroom he went to sleep for 12 to 15 hours. Gee said he went home and was called on Oct. 2 by Winner, who said Stabley was “doing better.”

Gee said he wanted to see for himself so he drove to Confer’s house and found that Stabley was not doing well, so he threw Stabley over his shoulder and put him into his car. He said Stabley was “making weird sounds and kept stretching,” andthat when he put him in his car, Stabley’s  “head rolled over to the side.”

Gee said Winner and Confer got in the back seat with Stabley and told Gee that they had called the hospital and told them they were coming. Upon driving near the hospital, they began to argue about who was going to take Stabley in to the hospital, Gee said.

Gee further told police he wanted to take Stabley into the hospital because he was “on probation and didn’t want to get in trouble.”

Gee said he pulled the car over to talk about it, but Winner and Confer pushed Stabley out of the vehicle. Gee said he “got scared” and left. He said he took Winner and Confer back to Confer’s house, and they talked along the way about getting rid of Stabley’s drugs. Gee said when he dropped Winner and Confer off he wanted to return to Stabley to see if he was found and taken care of, but he “saw flashing lights at the scene so he left.”

According to the affidavit filed with the charges against Confer, he told police on Oct. 3 that he saw Gee giving Stabley heroin, stating, “Ihave four for me and two for you.”

Confer alleges Gee gave Stabley two bags of heroin and that Stabley injected the heroin, then immediately passed out.

Confer alleges that Gee said “he has seen this (people overdosing) before and was advising Winner and Confer what to do. They took Stabley’s clothes off, put Stabley in an ice bath in the bath tub and left him there for two to three hours.”

They took Stabley out of the tub and put him in various locations in Confer’s bedroom, he told police. Confer said Gee was then anxious to leave and did so. On Oct.  2, Confer said Winner called Gee numerous times trying to get him to return to Confer’s. Gee eventually did come back, he said, at which time they put Stabley into Gee’s car “to go to the hospital,” Confer told police.

Confer said he was in the back seat with Stabley, Gee was driving and Winner was in the front passenger seat. He said he continually checked Stabley’s pulse and “could only feel it one or two times.”

Confer said he then couldn’t feel a pulse, that Stabley’s eyes opened partially but were “hazed over.”

He told officers that he believes Stabley died at that time.

While in the car the three argued over who would go into the hospital and get a wheelchair, Confer said.

Gee stopped the vehicle at the corner by the (Lock Haven Hospital) sign and “began pulling Stabley out of the back seat with the help of Winner and Confer,” the affidavit states.

“Once Stabley was out of the vehicle, Gee panicked because he saw another vehicle coming,” Confer alleged.

Gee and Winner got back in the car and they all left. Winner later told Confer that “Gee threw needles over the fence at Confer’s property.”

A search warrant was executed at Confer’s residence. Wet towels were found, which Confer said were used on Stabley. Two needles also were found over the fence where Confer said they would be.

“At no point on Oct. 1 or Oct. 2 did Richard Gee, Blake Confer or Mason Winner call 9-1-1 or attempt to get help for Brent Stabley,” police allege.

A partially clad Stabley was found unresponsive at Cree Drive and Irwin Street about 11 p.m. on Sunday by two county correctional officers.

Those officers, later identified as Aaron Edwards and Duane Long, called an ambulance and began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

However, upon arriving, the ambulance crew “found the male to be deceased,”  police said.

An autopsy was performed the following day at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntington, but the cause of death is pending toxicology test results, which normally take six to eight weeks, said Coroner Zach Hanna.

Detective Smith said those test results have not yet been received.

Hanna previously said it did not appear that Stabley suffered any sort of  physical trauma.

Confer faces a preliminary hearing set for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 22.