08 Apr Alpharetta Man Sentenced in Heroin Overdose
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This is a particularly sad story but unfortunately a very common one as heroin addiction surges through Georgia. Two lives lost, one to a heroin overdose, the other to a prison sentence related to drug use.
Fulton County DA confirmed that last week a 21 year-old Alpharetta man did in fact plead guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and heroin distribution in the overdose death of a young woman, barely 20 years old. After denying any involvement to police at the initial time of the March incident, and lying to police and trying to pin the blame on a friend of his who was visiting the home the night of the fateful incident, the man finally admitted to shooting up the young woman with heroin and watching her painfully overdose for 7 hours at his home in Ridge Oak Place, Alpharetta.
According to police who investigated this incident and the DA’s office, the man “…then began taking steps to conceal her death including deleting text messages from the victim’s phone and stashing syringes in her shirt and car…”
The news of the overdose came after the victim’s parents became very worried that she had not returned home. Like most frantic parents in this situation they tracked their daughter’s whereabouts which led them to the defendant’s home. Paramedics were immediately called to the scene but it was too late – the young woman was death from a heroin overdose.
The man the defendant tried to blame the heroin death on was no stranger to this set of circumstances. Late last year he too pled guilty to trying to hide a heroin overdose death. He was sentenced to 5 years’ probation for that charge. A third co-defendant was also found guilty of selling drugs to the defendant and the distribution of heroin in connection with the crime. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison followed by a year in drug and alcohol treatment.
Meanwhile in this most recent heroin overdose death, the Alpharetta man was sentenced to 20 years, 12 of which are to be served in prison and the remainder on probation in Fulton County.
Perhaps drug use which has reached an epidemic and national crisis may not be preventable at this time but an overdose certainly is. Georgia has a Medical Amnesty Law in place which is also known as the Good Samaritan 911 Law. This law is in place to protect any person who calls 911 to report a possible overdose. Many people using drugs are fearful of calling the police, afraid they will get charged with illegal drug possession etc. This law ensures the protection from prosecution for any drug charges related to the potential overdose. The goal is to save lives Georgia officials say.
If the defendant had called the paramedics while the young woman lay there overdosing, first responders to the scene may have prevented the overdose death by administering Narcan, an anti-overdose drug that first responders and many law enforcement are carrying to combat the skyrocketing overdose death rate.
Drug abuse and addiction may not be preventable without professional intervention and treatment but overdose deaths are. Many states are instituting stiff penalties for those who are present during the time of an overdose and who do nothing to prevent it. Death from an overdose can be prevented.
PLEASE CALL 911 TO REPORT AN OVERDOSE; REMEMBER THE LAW PROTECTS YOU FROM PROSECUTION
Alpharetta Man Gets 20 Years in Heroin Overdose Death
Markiewicz, David. “Alpharetta Man Who Injected Deadly Heroin into Friend Sentenced.” AJC> 6 March 2015. 4 March 2019. https://www.ajc.com/news/alpharetta-man-who-injected-deadly-heroin-into-friend-sentenced/lsILIpnxPzgJWdhIpMtgjL/
Dixon, Krystal. “Alpharetta Man Gets 20 Years in Heroin Overdose Death.” Patch. 6 March 2015. 4 March 2019. https://patch.com/georgia/alpharetta/alpharetta-man-gets-20-years-heroin-overdose-death
Petchenik, Mike. “Alpharetta Man Pleads Guilty in Heroin Overdose Death” WSB-TV Atlanta 2. 6 March 2015. 4 March 2019. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/alpharetta-man-pleads-guilty-heroin-overdose-death/53706016