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Teen dies from fentanyl overdose, man faces murder charges

If a person dealing drugs gives out drugs to multiple people and one of them dies, should he or she be held responsible for that death? That's a question that will have to be answered because of this case in North Carolina.

A college student in North Carolina died from an overdose following a night spent using drugs. According to a June 6 report, the man, a 19-year-old criminal justice major, had used an opioid mixture including fentanyl, a poisonous mix that is so powerful it resulted in an overdose. The autopsy reported that the man died from an accidental overdose. The police disagree and think it may have been a murder.

While an intentional killing might be a stretch, a 27-year-old man is accused of murdering the teen by selling him a deadly drug mixture. He's charged with a felony count for delivery of heroin, selling heroin and possession with the intent to sell. The indictment for murder came after concluding that the man willfully, feloniously and unlawfully murdered the teen.

In this case, it's fairly clear that the drugs taken were too powerful for the teen's body to handle. That doesn't automatically mean a murder took place. In cases like this, careful consideration of the evidence and intentions of a dealer are vital. Not all people sell or deal drugs realizing the potential for a serious injury or death, and many don't wish negative things on those who purchase drugs. Calling any death an intentional death in that case could be far from justified or fair.

Source: The News & Observer, "An NC college student died of a drug overdose. Now this man is charged with murder," Thomasi McDonald, June 06, 2018

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