Raleigh police said Christen Lee Neubert, 40, has been charged in connection with the drug overdose death of Maureen Walsh, 55.
A woman has been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal overdose from February.
Raleigh police said Christen Lee Neubert has been charged in connection with the drug overdose death of 55-year-old Maureen Walsh.
On Thursday, WRAL News obtained a toxicology report for Walsh that indicated methamphetamines and amphetamines were in her system when she died. Methamphetamines are considered a street drug, which is typically made in a lab illegally, whereas amphetamines are usually prescription medications like adderall and ritalin.
Neubert, 40, has been charged with murder. Neubert has pending charges for possessing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia with two probation violations.
Toxicology results, obtained by WRAL News, showed Walsh had methamphetamines and amphetamines in her system when she died.
Homicide charges in drug overdose cases are rare in North Carolina and difficult to prosecute, according to attorney Daniel Meier.
“How much of your actions caused the death versus the actions of the person who died and who should be responsible for that?” Meier said.
There would also have to be enough evidence to prove one person was directly tied to someone’s death.
“If I sell to Bob who sells to Jane who sells to Sue who sells to Dave and Dave dies, how far up the chain can you go as to who did it,” Meier said.
North Carolina’s “death by distribution” law holds drug dealers liable for murder if their drugs cause someone’s death, even if they didn’t intend to kill anyone.
WRAL asked Raleigh Police if Neubert faced a death by distribution charge. It’s still unclear.
They said: “We charged her with homicide due to evidence that directly links her to contributing to her death.”
North Carolina has changed its “death by distribution” law to make it easier to charge drug dealers with murder in overdose cases, even if they didn’t sell the drugs for money. The new law takes effect in December, but it’s not clear if it will lead to more prosecutions.
“District attorneys ultimately have the say,” Meier said.
Neubert has pending charges for meth and drug paraphernalia, as well as two probation violations.
On Thursday, the judge informed Neubert about the charges against her and told her they would appoint a capital defender to represent her. Her next court date is set for Nov. 2 at 9 a.m.