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Monday, November 6, 2023

Natasha Vanwasshenova: The Perils of Prostitution

     On November 23, 2010 Jonathan Hood, a resident of Rochester, Michigan, called a Dearborn escort service and requested a hooker and $80 worth of heroin. The 38-year-old John, in the midst of a divorce, was under the influence of alcohol and heroin when 28-year-old Natasha Vanwasshenova arrived at Hood's suburban Detroit home with the requested drug.

     After consuming more heroin and booze Mr. Hood and the prostitute soaked in his hot tub for 30 minutes after which he took a cold shower. While having sex with Vanwasshenova shortly thereafter, Mr. Hood died. After she called 911 Natasha Vanwasshenova tried to revive Mr. Hood then waited for the EMS personnel and the police.

      The forensic pathologist with the Oakland County Medical Examiner's office who performed the autopsy ruled that Jonathan Hood had died of a heroin overdose. The forensic pathologist noted that Mr. Hood had an enlarged heart and significant blockage in one of his arteries.

     Since according to this forensic pathologist Vanwasshenova's heroin killed Mr. Hood, a local prosecutor charged her with delivering a drug that caused the user's death. Arrested on this criminal homicide offense, Vanwasshenova if found guilty faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

     Sitting in her Oakland County jail cell Vanwasshenova must have wondered how having sex with a 38-year-old man had killed him and why she was being held responsible for his death. Heroin, while not good for you was not arsenic. Had she known the authorities would charge her for causing her trick's demise she might not have stuck around for the police.

     Vanwasshenova's court appointed attorney Charles Toby, when he read the autopsy report, wondered why the forensic pathologist hadn't taken Mr. Hood's enlarged heart and blocked artery into consideration in the cause of death ruling. With that in mind attorney Toby asked Dr. Kirit Patel, the Chief Cardiologist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, to review the autopsy. Dr. Patel, after reading the police and autopsy reports, concluded that Jonathan Hood had died of "acute coronary thrombosis," not a heroin overdose. His weak heart had failed under the stress of the drug, booze, hot tub, cold shower and sex.

     In light of Dr. Patel's post-mortem analysis the local prosecutor reduced the charge against Vanwasshenova to delivering a controlled substance. Oakland County medical examiner Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic amended Mr. Hood's cause of death to heart attack.

     In May 2012, after spending 14 months in the county jail, Natasha Vanwasshenova pleaded guilty to the drug delivery charge. She also apologized to Mr. Hood's relatives who were in the courtroom. Judge Leo Bowan sentenced her to two years probation and ordered her released from custody.
     Attorney Charles Toby, noting that his client had been in jail for 14 months on a minor drug crime, objected to the probated sentence. If Vanwasshenova returned to prostitution she would violate the terms of her probation, and if caught could end up serving the rest of her drug delivery sentence behind bars. Perhaps her experience with Mr. Hood would point Vanwasshenova, the mother of four, in another direction, career-wise.

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