May 16, 2014

Grapevine man sentenced on drug charges in teen deaths

A man implicated by authorities in the deaths of two Southlake teens was sentenced to prison on Friday.

A judge sentenced a Grapevine man to six years in prison on Friday on drug charges in connection with the deaths of two Southlake teens who were seniors at Carroll High School.

Cullen Marino, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance under a gram in February. He was sentenced to three years in prison on each count, to run consecutively, according to an official with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

Marino was also ordered by state District Judge Robb Catalano to participate in a drug treatment program in prison.

He provided drugs to Chase Nunez, 18, and Kyle McNutt, 17, and failed to call 911 after he found them unresponsive in the middle of the night. Both deaths were ruled accidental by the Tarrant County medical examiner.

The teens died after consuming a cocktail of heroin, codeine, Xanax and diphenhydramine, which is the antihistamine Benadryl, according to the medical examiner's office.

A search warrant affidavit says the incident took place Jan. 4 and 5 of last year.

Cullen Marino told police 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.

Marino’s father, Bob Marino, called 911 after finding the two teens in an upstairs bedroom. He said he performed CPR on one teen, the affidavit says.

Marino’s background included cases of marijuana possession filed just after he graduated from Colleyville Heritage High School in 2008 and one case of driving while intoxicated in Grapevine, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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