Missouri woman gets plea deal to reduce overdose murder charge

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Last month we discussed the addition of manslaughter charges in a synthetic LSD overdose case in Kansas City. A Moscow Mills, Missouri, woman has now entered a plea deal in an overdose case in Lincoln County. The woman was charged with second-degree murder and drug charges. She entered a plea agreement with prosecutors, which reduced the murder charge to involuntary manslaughter.

In addition to the plea on the homicide count, the woman pleaded guilty to a drug charge in the same case, as well as a separate drug charge from 2011. The judge imposed a 10-year prison sentence for each of the convictions—the 10-year sentences will run concurrently.

Prosecutors say that a 29-year-old man was found dead in a motel room in Troy, Missouri, in April. Police spoke to the Moscow Mills woman’s brother who claimed that he delivered heroin to the man who had been found dead. But, the woman’s brother also said that his sister had sold the drugs to the overdose victim, according to police.

The woman was charged with a drug crime. After an autopsy was completed showing toxicology evidence that the man dies of a heroin overdose authorities upgraded the charges to include the second degree murder count.

The woman’s brother also faces charges and is scheduled for trial later this week.

A person accused of a crime has the right to take the case to trial. But, in some situations, a person may decide to waive the right to trial (and many other rights) and enter a guilty plea. In some cases, a plea agreement may minimize the damages in a variety of different ways. An agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge, such as in Moscow Mills, Missouri, woman’s case, may reduce the exposure to prison time that may be associated with a conviction on the more serious charge.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Moscow Mills woman pleads guilty in heroin overdose death, gets 10 years,” Susan Weich, Feb. 3, 2014

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