A TV producer pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he and another man dumped the unconscious Long Island dermatologist and mother of three the night she died of a drug overdose in Manhattan.
Marc Henry Johnson, 52, admitted to Judge Jesse M. Furman that he acted as an accessory in the crime when early in the morning of October 5, 2015, he helped move the body of Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny from an apartment used as a drug stash house on West 16th Street to the front vestibule of the building.
Johnson said that he “panicked” when Cerveny, 38, who he only identified in court by her initials “KC”, suddenly lost consciousness after partying hard from the night before. He said he and James Holder, a reputed drug dealer, moved her body from Holder’s apartment.
Johnson told Furman that he called 911, attempted CPR on Cerveny, then left Cerveny’s body unattended in the vestibule and called police.
Police later said that Cerveny, who lived with her husband and children in Manhasset and had a practice in Williston Park, was pronounced dead at the scene.
In the original three-count indictment in 2016, federal prosecutors alleged that Johnson, a producer with credits including the Michael Moore series “The Awful Truth,” had gotten cocaine from Holder just hours before Cerveny died. He offered it around that evening at a bar where he met Cerveny, who had already been doing cocaine.
Johnson acknowledged that he acted in a way to frustrate the police investigation and cover up the fact that Holder used the apartment as a place to distribute drugs.
Holder, known by the nickname “Pepsi,” pleaded guilty last December to a single federal charge of using the apartment as a drug location for about ten years. He is awaiting sentencing, court records show.
Johnson, who remains free pending sentencing, said nothing as he left the courtroom with his defense team Anthony Ricco and Louis M. Freedman. Under federal sentencing guidelines he faces a possible prison term of 18 to 24 months. Furman set sentencing for June 26.