A Winder man charged with felony murder for allegedly selling drugs to his friend who later overdosed pleaded not guilty.
Casey Aaron Trichel, 24, faces charges of felony murder, sale and distribution of fentanyl and involuntary manslaughter. Joseph Patterson, 23, is believed to have ingested the pills under the assumption they were prescription medicine, Gainesville Police said.
Trichel filed a waiver of arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on July 24 through his attorney Scott Drake.
The drugs were stamped to look like oxycodone, though actually containing the drug fentanyl. Fentanyl is a narcotic more powerful than heroin.
Patterson’s mother Lisa Hicks is petitioning to have a law changed that would create stronger punishments for those who manufacture the drugs to look like less dangerous drugs.
“(What) we would also like is that if an individual or group is caught manufacturing or distributing fentanyl or a Schedule II substance ... that they are also charged with an assault or a violent charge,” Hicks previously told The Times. “You know it’s dangerous, but you’re intending to hurt somebody with it.”
Hicks’ Change.org petition had more than 100 supporters since launching the petition last week.
State parole board director made permanent
The interim director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles was officially named the executive director Tuesday.
Christopher L. Barnett will continue in his role over the daily functioning of the parole board and reports to the five-person board.
“It is truly an honor to serve as the Executive Director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, especially as our state continues on the path of groundbreaking criminal justice reform initiatives. I am proud of what our state and Board have accomplished thus far and look to the future in anticipation of even greater opportunities for enhancements and successes,” Barnett said in a news release.
Barnett served as the interim director since April.
Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: