Schuster, 50, didn't show up. The judge didn't bother signing a warrant for the Monroe man's arrest.
Schuster is dead.
He died Feb. 6 in a Shoreline apartment on Sunnyside Drive N., according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Tests are being done to determine the cause of his death.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Hendrix plans to drop the manslaughter charge against Schuster once he receives a copy of Schuster's death certificate.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michaels Downes said on Thursday he also needs to get official confirmation that Schuster is dead. Until then the court record reflects that Schuster failed to show up for the court hearing and his trial is still scheduled for March 13.
Hendrix filed the manslaughter charge against Schuster more than a year after Michael Boyle, 50, was found dead inside a crashed Ford Contour on Tester Road in Monroe.
Boyle overdosed on cocaine, heroin and alcohol, court documents show. He also had numerous scrapes and scratches along his body.
Schuster told investigators on Aug. 10, 2007, that he and a friend first met Boyle in a parking lot in King County. The men shared a beer and Schuster told investigators he bought some cocaine and heroin from a drug dealer standing outside a Home Depot, Hendrix wrote.
The trio bought syringes and metal measuring spoons and Boyle and Schuster shot up. The party moved to the third man's Marysville motel room. Schuster told investigators he and Boyle continued to inject a mixture of heroin and cocaine, according to court documents.
The third man told investigators Boyle appeared inexperienced with injecting drugs.
Schuster said he passed out and found Boyle lying on the ground. He couldn't wake him up but heard him cough. Schuster told investigators the other man wouldn't let him use the motel room phone to call for help because he was worried about getting evicted, Hendrix wrote.
The two men carried Boyle out of the motel room and loaded him into Schuster's car. Schuster's friend told detectives he thought they were planning to take Boyle to a hospital.
Schuster said he drove to Monroe because he was familiar with the area. Schuster said he passed out and woke up after he crashed into a tree. He said he and the other man left Boyle in the car and hitched a ride out of the area, Hendrix wrote.
Schuster also told investigators that he thought Boyle was a nice guy and he had planned to help him get a job, Hendrix wrote.
Detectives determined that Boyle might not have died had he received prompt care -- there were three hospitals within 20 miles of the Marysville motel.
Hendrix said he was aware Schuster had health problems. He didn't know the circumstances of his death. He expects to receive the death certificate sometime this week. He'll wait to dismiss the charge until then.
"We want to make sure there wasn't some mix-up," Hendrix said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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