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Manslaughter charge added in Missouri teen overdose death

In October we discussed a case involving the arrests of two teens related to alleged drug distribution allegations in Kansas City. The issue arose after a 15-year-old boy died from an overdose of a synthetic substance. Police say that the synthetic substance was designed to mimic LSD. One of the teens arrested in October on suspicion of drug distribution charges has now been charged with manslaughter related to the criminal investigation.

Prosecutors say that the 17-year-old girl who is now accused of manslaughter admitted to police that she sold the synthetic form of acid to two boys—a 14-year-old and the 15-year-old who died at Children’s Mercy Hospital in early October. Police raided a home where authorities claim that the 17-year-old girl accused of manslaughter says that she purchased the drug. Authorities seized 1,800 units during that raid, according to the Associated Press in a story carried by KOMU News in Mid-Missouri.

While manslaughter charges may often arise related to a DWI fatal accident in Missouri, the charge may also arise under other types of circumstances. Involuntary manslaughter charges in Missouri are serious accusations. It seems more and more prosecutors across the country are relying on manslaughter or murder statutes in drug overdose cases.

The legal issues surrounding recklessness or criminal negligence causing death can be complex. A person accused of manslaughter should consider seeking the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer when facing these kinds of accusations.

An unrelated, but similar issue is before the United States Supreme Court in a challenge to what prosecutors must show in cases alleging the federal crime of distribution of drugs causing death.

Source: KOMU News, “Mo. Girl Charged with Manslaughter in Teen's Death," The Associated Press, Jan 15, 2014; United States Supreme Court, “Burrage v. United States, Docket No. 12-7515,” argued Nov. 12, 2103

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