An HBO producer has pleaded guilty in the case of a married Long Island doctor and mother-of-three who died in the doorway of a Manhattan apartment building last October after a night of partying and drug use, PEOPLE confirms.
Marc Henry Johnson , 52, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact, admitting he dragged the body of Kiersten Cerveny into the hallway of his friend’s apartment building, a U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson tells PEOPLE. Johnson and Cerveny, 38, allegedly spent the night in various New York City bars drinking and snorting cocaine, the spokesperson says.
“Marc Henry Johnson’s immediate response to seeing a dying overdose victim should have been to summon help,” U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a Department of Justice statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Instead, Johnson helped his cocaine dealer cover up the drug crime by moving the victim’s body.”
Johnson and James Holder both faced federal drug and conspiracy charges related to Cerveny’s death after the dermatologist was found unresponsive in Holder’s apartment building on the morning of Oct. 4, 2015.
As part of a plea deal, Johnson will no longer face the remaining drug and conspiracy charges and could be sentenced to up to 24 months in prison — instead of the maximum of 10 years that the accessory charge carries, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Holder pleaded guilty in December 2016 to maintaining a drug-involved premises, according to the recent statement. He is expected to be sentenced in May and faces no other charges.
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According to a previous statement from the Department of Justice obtained by PEOPLE, Holder allegedly sold cocaine out of his Chelsea apartment for more than 10 years — and allegedly sold cocaine to Johnson. The statement alleges Holder helped Johnson move Cerveny’s body.
Johnson, along with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal , produced the pilot episode for the impending HBO series The Deuce, a show about New York’s porn industry during the 1970s starring James Franco .
The Morning of Cerveny’s Death
The statement alleges Cerveny went to Holder’s apartment at around 4:30 a.m. and overdosed inside the home. Investigators said video surveillance footage showed Johnson and Holder dragging Cerveny’s unconscious body into the building’s first-floor vestibule.
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Police allege Holder left the building that morning carrying an unspecified object while Johnson called 911 for an ambulance. Johnson was not cooperative during the 911 call and would not give his name or describe his connection with Cerveny, the statement alleges.
Both Holder and Johnson appeared in a preliminary court hearing in May 2016. At the time, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Drugs destroy lives and communities.”
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