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Man dies after drug injections

A Clearwater man has been charged with manslaughter after police said he injected another man with heroin, then gave him three shots of cocaine after he appeared to be overdosing.

Lewis Moncrief, 39, of Palm Harbor died at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor at 11:10 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Dexter Harrah, 51, was charged with manslaughter Sunday. Free on $20,000 bail, he said Monday that he did not do anything wrong and plans to hire an attorney to fight the charges.

The two men were at Harrah's home at Capri Mobile Home Park, 24195 U.S. 19 N Lot 113, where several others had also gathered, police said Monday. After Harrah used a syringe to inject Moncrief with heroin, he became convulsive and unresponsive, police said.

Another person tried to resuscitate Moncrief using CPR, but the effort failed. Harrah then injected him with cocaine, police said. Harrah later told investigators that he had used shots of cocaine in the past to resuscitate someone else from a heroin overdose.

Police said they are not sure whether Harrah was also intoxicated during the incident. Harrah said he did not use any drugs before Moncrief collapsed.

Harrah, who works as a house painter, disputed every statement that police made about the incident. He said he never injected Moncrief with heroin or cocaine. He said he was the innocent victim of an investigation based on hearsay.

Harrah said Moncrief showed up at his home already under the influence of drugs. He said someone else gave Moncrief the cocaine, and he gave Moncrief CPR.

Harrah predicted that the case against him would fall apart.

"I got eyewitnesses who saw what really happened," he said.

Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor said the investigation of Moncrief's death continued. Police were awaiting results from a toxicology report that will identify the specific cause of death.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Sheela Raman can be reached at (727) 445-4158 or sraman@sptimes.com.

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