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Two Convicted in Louisa on Drug Charges - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Two Convicted in Louisa on Drug Charges

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Louisa County
Press Release

2 Guilty in Drugs Associated with Woman's Death
Female defendant is former correctional officer

Louisa – Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire announced the convictions of Troy Hensley and Tiffany Vawter for charges associated with the death of a twenty-four-year-old woman.  Previously, Vawter served as a correctional officer.  On July 10, 2012, Vawter gave Troy Hensley a ride to pick up his fentanyl prescription.  He gave her fentanyl for giving him a ride.  Later that night, Vawter distributed fentanyl to at least one other person.  Vawter and the decedent stayed after everyone else went to bed.  They fell asleep on the couch.  Vawter stated she then went to another room the next morning to finish sleeping and found the victim dead later that morning.  While the decedent had fentanyl in her system, she died by choking on the fentanyl patch.  The patch was the same dose and type as the one prescribed to Hensley.  

Hensley argued that he only gave Vawter one patch and she stole more patches from him.  During a sting operation Vawter admitted giving fentanyl to one person but denied giving it to the dead woman.  She offered numerous reasons as to where the lethal fentanyl could have come from and how the decedent obtained the lethal dose.  At the end of the undercover recording she states she wants the cops to think the decedent went and got the fentanyl herself. 

Fentanyl is one of the most lethal drugs on the market.  Over 1,000 people in the United States died of fentanyl overdose in two years between 2005 and 2007.  By contrast, just over eight hundred American servicemen and women died during the first eight years in Afghanistan.  Fentanyl can be up to100 times more powerful than morphine.  It is often prescribed as patches meant to be worn to slowly administer the drug.  The drug is abused by people chewing on the patch and is incredibly lethal because the abuser obtains too much of a dose at once.

On speaking on the convicting, McGuire said "this is a tragic case and demonstrates the dangers of drugs.  We have far too many deaths from illegal use of prescription drugs.  We hope this case sends two messages.  One, do not take prescription drugs unless prescribed by a licensed physician and two you will be held accountable when you distribute drugs."

Hensley was convicted of two counts of distribution of fentanyl and a burglary count for an unrelated matter.  He is now serving four years in prison.  Vawter was convicted of distribution of fentanyl and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 6, 2013.  She faces up to ten years and prison. 

 

 


 

 

 

In response to the above press release, Tiffany Vawter's attorney, Graven W. Craig, released the following statement:

"In response to his assertion that my client was convicted of “charges associated with the death of a twenty-four-year-old woman” I would like to point that Mr. McGuire actually permanently dropped the specific charge against my client that was “associated” with the death of the twenty-four-year-old woman, Brandy Butler.  My client did plead guilty to one charge related to the distribution of Fentanyl to a Donna Butler, but that incident is not associated with the death of Brandy Butler, who unfortunately and tragically choked on a Fentanyl patch that she apparently voluntarily ingested.   To be clear, as might be inferred from Mr. McGuire’s press release, Brandy Butler did NOT overdose on a Fentanyl patch, she choked on one.  Further, my client did not plead guilty to distributing Fentanyl to the decedent.  In fact, as stated above, that charge against my client was dropped by Mr. McGuire.  So, while Mr. McGuire’s press release talks about the dangers of Fentanyl and how insidious it can be when used improperly or illegally, which is not disputed by my client, this is not one of those cases.  Lastly, my client has made herself accountable for what she did, but her willingness to make herself accountable should not be distorted for the benefit of a press release."

 

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