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O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) - A St. Charles County man has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing a fatal dose of heroin.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 37-year-old Jason Shell of O'Fallon was found guilty on Thursday on both the manslaughter charge and distribution of a controlled substance.
 
Shell supplied heroin to 36-year-old James Eyman III, who was found dead in a home in January. An investigation determined that Shell provided Eyman with a syringe of heroin, but did nothing to help when he realized that Eyman was in medical distress.
 
Shell faces sentencing on June 19.
 
Published in Local News
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman who was charged in 2011 with providing heroin that killed her boyfriend and another man has been acquitted of charges she injected a woman with a nonfatal overdose of the drug.
 
Madison County jurors on Wednesday found 30-year-old Angella Halliday not guilty of an aggravated battery count linked to the overdose last July of a Wood River woman who was revived by paramedics.
 
Halliday was charged in 2011 with two counts of drug-induced homicide for allegedly providing the heroin that killed a Worden man and her boyfriend weeks apart.
 
Prosecutors dropped the homicide charges in 2012 after Halliday pleaded guilty to delivery of a prescription anti-anxiety medication near a school. She was sentenced to four years in prison but was paroled last May.
Published in Local News

   Metro-east police say the death of a Worchester, NY woman inside a gas station restroom was probably drug related.  

   Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz says 25 year old Angela Lamar, a Belleville native, had been traveling through Illinois with her boyfriend, a truck driver, when the couple stopped at a gas station along I-70 just outside of Highland.  

   Lamar was unresponsive when she was found inside the station restroom around 1:00 a.m. Sunday.  She was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland.  

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that investigators seized a syringe and heroin-filled capsules during their investigation.  Sheriff Hertz says investigators suspect a drug overdose, but toxicology tests are still pending.  

Published in Local News
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman who was accused in 2011 of providing the heroin that killed her boyfriend and another man is on trial on charges that she injected a woman with a non-fatal overdose of the drug.
 
Jury selection began Tuesday for 29-year-old Angella Halliday's Madison County trial on an aggravated battery count linked to last summer's overdose of a Wood River woman who later was revived by paramedics.
 
Halliday was charged with two counts of drug-induced homicide in 2011 for allegedly providing the heroin that killed a Worden man and her boyfriend weeks apart.
 
Prosecutors dropped the homicide charges in 2012 after Halliday pleaded guilty to a drug count. She was sentenced to four years in prison but was released on parole in May of last year.
Published in Local News

   Nearly 1,800 people have died from heroin overdoses in the St. Louis area since 2007.  St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch believes his department can do more to cut the numbers.  

   Fitch says when overdose calls come in, police arrive first on the scene about 30 percent of the time.  That's why he's asking the county health department to write a prescription allowing officers to carry naloxone, also called Narcan.  It's a fast-acting antidote for overdoses on opiates, like heroin and morphine.  Police in some other U.S. cities are already using it to treat overdose victims before EMTs arrive.  

   Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that equipping each car with two-doses is affordable, costing the department about $1,500.  

Published in Local News
Addiction recovery advocates will rally in Jefferson City today to urge Missouri lawmakers to pass legislation that's aimed at getting medical help for drug overdose victims.

A bill sponsored by Republican state Representative Bryan Spencer, would grant immunity from minor drug possession charges to overdose victims and people who get medical help for them. Ten other states, including Illinois, have already enacted the so-called "good Samaritan" laws. Spencer's bill is based on the Illinois model.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he supports the measure, saying that saving lives is more important than pursuing minor drug charges. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch expressed doubts that the law would make much difference, telling the paper that people who abuse alcohol or heroin "aren’t the most responsible" people.

Advocates say the state can't afford to ignore the problem. They cite research by the Missouri Recovery Network and Roosevelt University, which suggests that heroin and opiate abuse poses a particularly deadly and growing threat in Missouri, especially the St. Louis area.
Published in Local News

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