One man in West Virginia will have to spend time behind bars after authorities said he gave a lethal dose of heroin to a woman. The man, who faced manslaughter and drug charges, was recently sentenced. He is 28 years old.
Officials said that after the man sold the drug to the woman who ended up dying from it, he tried to hide the drug to help himself. The man has reportedly been exposed to drugs his entire life, with his mother dying from drugs and his entire family being addicts. After the woman's murder, he initially faced a murder charge.
As part of the man's plea deal, the murder charge was dropped. He was sentenced to one year behind jail bars for involuntary manslaughter, which is a misdemeanor. He was also sentenced to one to three years in prison for trying to deliver a drug, which is a felony. The man has already spent a year in jail and will get jail credit for this. The sentences handed down against him will run consecutively.
When people in West Virginia face drug charges and other types of criminal charges, they have the right to fight these charges at trial. Prosecutors at trial must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt before convictions can be secured. However, instead of going to trial, a defendant may decide to strike a plea deal with the prosecution, if one is offered. A plea deal might offer the advantage of a lighter sentence than what would result following a guilty verdict at trial.
Source: wvmetronews.com, "Kanawha County man sentenced for selling deadly dose of heroin", Carrie Hodousek, July 18, 2016