SPOTSYLVANIA, VA (WWBT) - A Spotsylvania husband is behind bars after his wife apparently overdosed on heroin.
William Moore admitted to Spotsylvania County deputies that he and his wife were using heroin on a daily basis. On February 26, he provided his wife a lethal dose of the drug.
Moore is now charged with felony murder.
"An accidental death can lead to a charge of felony murder if that death occurs during the commission of a felony," explained NBC12 News Legal Analyst Steve Benjamin.
Benjamin explained the same does not apply if someone dies later because of taking those drugs, so a precedent is not being set to charge drug dealers, or even doctors prescribing painkillers, which could become a deadly addiction.
"Addicts will break the law, and for that, they should be punished, plain and simple," said John Shinholser, the President of the McShin Foundation. "But that doesn't mean we should give them a scarlet letter for life."
The McShin Foundation actively helps addicts in recovery. They argue the answer is not more legislature and criminal charges.
"That [not] only hurts addicts, it hurts their families, and it's a burden on the taxpayer, which is unnecessary," said Shinholser. "Education about addiction, education about the recovery process, that is needed a whole lot more than the energy put into these charges right now."
It also worries him that this felony murder charge could keep people from calling 911 if a friend or [a] loved one is suffering from an overdose.
"You should always and immediately call for help if someone is in trouble for a drug overdose," stressed Benjamin.
In addition to the felony murder charge, Moore is also being held without bond for possession of heroin and felony child endangerment, because the couple's two young children were at home during their mother's apparent overdose. The children were not physically harmed and are now with family members.
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