A first-degree murder indictment was among 13 felony charges against eight people handed down this week by a grand jury sitting in Pocahontas County.
Charles Fogus Jr., 42, of Buckeye, was indicted on the murder charge after he allegedly sold drugs to Mark Workman, who died after consuming the pills.
"This is a unique one," Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney Donna Price said Wednesday. "It is the first time I have prosecuted this type of charge."
Price said it is alleged in the indictment that Fogus sold 10 Opana pills, which are a controlled substance, to Workman on or around July 8. She said the medication is a mix of morphine and hydrocodone that is typically given to terminally ill cancer patients.
Workman "ended up in Pocahontas County Memorial (Hospital) and died," she said. "The officer in the case said it was the first time he has been involved in a case like this in 28 years."
Price explained that according to West Virginia code, anyone who sells a controlled substance to someone who then passes away from the drug can be charged with first-degree murder.
Also included in the indictments were the following:
Randall Bibb, 59, of Marlinton, was indicted on one count of first-degree sexual abuse.
William S. DeWeese, 46, of Marlinton, was charged with one count of extortion.
Larry A. Turner, 32, of Marlinton, was indicted on two counts of first-degree arson and two counts of conspiracy.
Roger Teter Jr., 38, of Marlinton, was charged with one count of delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance.
Roger Teter, Sr., 59, of Marlinton, was indicted on one count of delivery of a schedule III controlled substance and conspiracy.
Christopher Gumm, 32, of Marlinton, was charged with one count of operating a clandestine drug laboratory and one count of being a prohibited person with a firearm.
April Gumm , 40, of Marlinton, was indicted on one count of operating a clandestine drug laboratory and one count of conspiracy.
Indictments are merely formal charges. All those facing charges should be presumed innocent unless they are found guilty in a court of law.
Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at email@example.com.