Grapevine man indicted in death of Southlake teens

Posted Thursday, May. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A Tarrant County grand jury has indicted a Grapevine man on two counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the drug overdose deaths of two Southlake Carroll High School teens.

Cullen Marino, 22, was also indicted Wednesday on charges of delivery of a controlled substance under a gram, resulting in serious bodily injury or death, stemming from the incident that occurred Jan. 5 at his Grapevine home.

Marino remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $18,500 bail. If convicted of the third-degree felonies, Marino faces two to 10 years in prison on each charge.

Marino is accused of providing drugs to the two Southlake Carroll seniors, Chase Nunez, 18, and Kyle McNutt, 17, and then failing to call 911 after he found them unresponsive in the middle of the night.

“We filed the cases as criminally negligent homicides working closely with the district attorney’s office,” said Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling.

Marino also was indicted on a third drug charge _ possession of a controlled substance _ on Wednesday involving a Bedford case on Feb. 16. The Beford case occurred just weeks after the Grapevine incident, but details of the case were not available on Thursday.

David Andrew Pearson of Fort Worth, Marino’s attorney, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The deaths of Nunez and McNutt were ruled accidental, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

The teens died from a lethal cocktail of heroin, codeine, Xanax and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine found in Benadryl., according to the medical examiner’s office.

A search warrant affidavit gave this account of the Grapevine incident which began on Jan. 4 and ended on Jan. 5:

The two teens were discovered by Cullen's father, Bob Marino, in an upstairs bedroom of his Grapevine home and he called 911.

"I might have two dead kids upstairs in my house," he said in the call.

He told a dispatcher that he attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on one of the boys, but was unsuccessful.

When the dispatcher asked if the boys had taken drugs, Bob Marino questioned his son.

“He says if they did it, it had to be before they came here,” Bob Marino told the dispatcher.

But police contend that Nunez and McNutt were provided drugs by Cullen Marino.

When arrested, police said they found a spoon with heroin residue in the front pocket of Cullen Marino's pants.

Cullen Marino told police that several friends, including Nunez and McNutt, were at his Grapevine home when he returned from Dallas after buying drugs. The friends drank alcohol and ingested marijuana, possibly heroin and another drug throughout the night.

Police seized glass pipes, bongs, marijuana, scales, Xanax pills, white powder and orange pills from inside the house.

A 2008 graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School, Cullen Marino has a criminal history in Tarrant County.

Just months after he graduated from high school in 2008, Marino had three cases of marijuana possession filed against him in Bedford and Grapevine, and one case of driving while intoxicated in Grapevine, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.

At that time, he was on two years' probation on the DWI charge out of Grapevine, records showed.

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archive

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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