LA Man Charged with Murder in Heroin Death Faces Multiple Charges

Lafayette Police Department announced that a Lafayette man is accused of second-degree murder related to

Drug syringe and cooked heroin on spoon

Lafayette Police Department announced that a Lafayette man is accused of second-degree murder related to the heroin overdose death of a young man last month. While providing little information regarding his alleged involvement in the young man’s death, his arrest affidavit details his arrest five days before LPD announced that he was a person of interest in the overdose death.

The man in question was a passenger in a car parked in a hotel parking lot. The car was identified as “suspicious” by law enforcement and noted to have an “odor of marijuana.” When police officers attempted to talk to those who were in the car, the Lafayette man refused to comply, putting his hands under the seat of the car rather than up on the dashboard when requested to do so. When he exited the vehicle, police report that he threw a bag under the car which reportedly contained a “tan rock substance” that the man later said was Molly, a version of the drug ecstasy. Officers also found a bag of marijuana and a gun under his seat when they searched the car.

As part of their investigation, officers discovered that the Lafayette man also had an active warrant for arrest that was only about 10 days old. He was booked on charges of obstruction of justice, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and money from drug sales as well as on the warrant.

Placing Blame

The notion that selling someone a drug that ultimately kills them due to overdose qualifies as second-degree murder may be the public’s way of assigning blame to the most immediate person responsible for a tragic death. When the original producer of the drug is impossible to track down, and larger drug dealers and drug traffickers who are responsible for getting the drug to the region are untraceable, it feels like it makes sense to turn to the person who sold or gave the overdose victim the drug that took their life.

But does it? What if the person in question appears to have a substance use disorder of their own and is clearly in crisis? By this logic, every drug sale ever made would have to be termed an attempted murder and prosecuted as such. We have learned by now that filling up the jails for choices made in the service of an addiction does nothing to remedy the problem in the world or to help the incarcerated person to turn things around and make a fresh start in life.

Though it can feel like an emotional relief to incarcerate someone when the overdose victim is a young person who made a mistake and died needlessly, in the end, it does not bring them back and it does not help to save the lives of others. What does? Treatment.

Treatment = Hope

While prison is often a dead end, compounding the problems of the person incarcerated and increasing the number of barriers to putting drug and alcohol use in the past, treatment is the opposite. It offers a beacon of hope that can be personalized to meet the needs of the individual, helping each person to find what they need to heal.

Though we are not yet at a point where Louisiana is incorporating a full treatment program into the prisons that serve people struggling with addiction, there are a number of things you can do for a loved one who is locked up due to choices made under the influence or in the service of maintaining an addiction.

  • Sending books to your loved one about addiction, positive mental health, and recovery can help them to stay focused on making changes that will serve them well both inside and when they are released.
  • Looking up the best possible treatment program for your loved one while they are incarcerated will help to facilitate an immediate transition into treatment after they are released.
  • Preparing a home for them to return to, if necessary, that is free of substances and people who may distract them from recovery can set a solid foundation for recovery.
  • Encouraging your loved one while they are locked up to start their own journey into recovery by journaling, reading, and considering what their goals are when they get out can help them to lay the groundwork for a new life free of crime and drugs.

What does your loved one need to heal and get out of the cycle of drug use and incarceration?

Since joining the Townsend content team, Shlomo has become a thought leader in the addiction field. He is a Seinfeld junkie, a recovering Twitter fanatic, and a sports expert. He enjoys milk shakes and beautiful views from rooftops.