Alleged drug dealer charged with murder, indictment marks a first in county history
By: Atlanta Northcutt -- Reporter for the Southern Standard
An accused drug dealer has been charged with second-degree murder, the first case of its kind in Warren County.
Lisa Ann Pease Roach, 44, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and delivery of a schedule II substance during the March meeting of the grand jury on Friday. The charges come after she allegedly distributed a drug resulting in the overdose death of a woman.
The indictment states on or about Jan. 2, Roach unlawfully distributed methadone, a Schedule II controlled substance, to a local 36-year-old woman. The indictment claims the methadone was the proximate cause of the victim’s death, constituting the offense of second-degree murder, a Class A felony.
“This is the first case in our district where someone has been indicted on second-degree murder for allegedly selling a drug which resulted in the death of the drug user,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis.
Roach was also charged with delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance, which is a Class C felony.
“We’ve seen a rise in drug overdoses in the past year,” said Zavogiannis. “We investigate every one of those cases to the best of our ability. This is a crime we’re not going to tolerate.”
In Tennessee, if a dealer sells illegal Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, and the buyer dies from an overdose, second-degree murder charges can be leveled.
“That’s the law,” says Zavogiannis. “The reality is if you’re going to take a risk which could result in someone’s death, you need to understand the risks of what you could possibly be charged with.”