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Seaside Heights Man Suspected of Causing Overdose Death

A Seaside Heights man is accused of supplying the drugs that killed another borough resident on February 28.

Cornell Hills
Cornell Hills (Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

Cornell Hills, 38, faces a first-degree charge of drug-induced death in the case of Thomas Basile, 54, whose lifeless body was found inside his Franklin Avenue home.

Hills also faces a second-degree manslaughter count and with several drug allegations, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

After a March 1 postmortem examination, investigators obtained a warrant to search Hills’s dwelling on Sumner Avenue and found items associated with the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, police said.

Hills was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, with bail set at $200,000.

Coronato credited the now-routine dispatching of local and county homicide detectives to drug overdose scenes for the arrest.  “The actions of the first responding officers are critical to our ability to prosecute these strict liability cases,” Coronato said.

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