An HBO producer has pleaded guilty in the case of a married Long Island, New York, doctor and mother of three who died in 2015 in the doorway of a Manhattan apartment building

By Char Adams
March 23, 2017 04:23 PM

An HBO producer pleaded guilty this week in the case of a married doctor and mother of three who died in 2015, after an overdose, in the doorway of a New York City apartment building.

The headline-making incident and resulting investigation spanned more than a year, as authorities worked to uncover the circumstances surrounding 38-year-old Kiersten Cerveny‘s death.

Here are five things to know about what happened.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2015, Cerveny and TV producer Marc Johnson, 54, and 60-year-old James Holder ’s apartment, where investigators say she overdosed, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Johnson and Cerveny had allegedly spent the night in various New York City bars, drinking and using cocaine, a DOJ spokesperson previously told PEOPLE.

Federal prosecutors have described Holder as Johnson’s dealer.

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Kiersten Cerveny

Investigators said video surveillance footage from Oct. 4 showed Johnson and Holder dragging Cerveny’s unconscious body into the building’s first-floor vestibule.

Authorities allege Holder left the building that morning carrying an unspecified object, while Johnson called 911 for an ambulance — though the DOJ claimed Johnson was not cooperative during the emergency call and would not give his name or describe his connection with Cerveny.

Responding EMTs found Cerveny’s unconscious body and she was pronounced dead at the hospital, authorities said. They said her cause of death was due in part to her cocaine use.

In the months following Cerveny’s overdose, Holder and Johnson were charged with one and two counts each: conspiracy to distribute and attempting to distribute cocaine and accessory after the fact, respectively.

Marc Johnson in 2009.
Mark Von Holden/Getty

Holder later pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premises and Johnson pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact.

Johnson is expected to be sentenced in June and Holder’s sentencing is scheduled for May.

Johnson admitted to helping drag Cerveny’s body from inside Holder’s Chelsea apartment, in N.Y.C., into the entrance of the building.

“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 statement after his plea Tuesday. “Instead, Johnson helped his cocaine dealer cover up the drug crime by moving the victim’s body.”

Kiersten Cerveny

As part of his plea deal, Johnson 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.

Johnson, along with Maggie Gyllenhaal, produced the pilot episode for the forthcoming HBO series The Deuce, about New York’s porn industry during the 1970s and starring James Franco.

Show creator David Simon previously told Variety that reports surrounding Johnson’s involvement had been “amorphous, inconsistent and contradictory.”

“All that said, it is a tragedy for this woman and her family,” Simon said.

Kiersten Cerveny

5. Cerveny Was a Married Dermatologist with Three Kids

Cerveny had recently welcomed her third child in the year leading up to her death, according to her Facebook page.

She used winnings from a beauty pageant to attend Duke University after graduating high school in 1995, the Courier-Post reports. She later met her husband, Andrew, in medical school in Louisiana. (Her family has declined to comment to PEOPLE.)

The two wed in 2009. Their marriage was announced in the New York Times.