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Badge & Bar: Police say man not aware of fentanyl in overdose case
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Gainesville Police said a Winder man who died of a drug overdose Feb. 16 was unaware of the drug’s contents.

Joseph Edward Patterson, 23, died Feb. 16. Casey Aaron Trichel, 24, of Winder, was arrested April 21 and charged with felony murder.

“Investigators were able to determine that the victim had obtained the drugs from Casey Trichel under the assumption it was another prescription medicine,” Gainesville Police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook wrote in an email.

Patterson died of a fentanyl overdose, Holbrook wrote. The original call came to the 2700 block of Shades Valley Road on Feb. 16, where Patterson was found dead inside the home, Holbrook wrote.

Lisa Hicks, Patterson’s mother, told The Times on Monday that her son didn’t have prior drug issues, describing him as a healthy person excited about being a father.

Hall County man indicted in armed robbery case

A Hall County man accused by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office of beating a man with a handgun replica and taking his keys, wallet, cellphone and vehicle was indicted April 23.

Jonathan Cory Ballenger, 39, was arrested Feb. 3. He has been indicted on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft by taking and and kidnapping.

According to the indictment, Ballenger is accused of hitting Stoney Brooks, 36, of Dahlonega, “with an object having the appearance of a handgun” between Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.

The incident report lists the area as the 6000 block of 7th street in Lula.

The value of the items taken exceeded $1,550 including Brooks’ car.

Flowery Branch woman indicted in arson case

A Flowery Branch woman was indicted April 23, accused by Hall County Fire Services and the sheriff’s office of deliberately setting a fire for insurance money.

Jaclin Michelle Lance, 34, reported a fire to the fire department on Dec. 8 at her home on Daffodil Drive.

When the fire happened, Lance told investigators that she discovered the small fire after returning to from a weekend with family.

“Investigators continuing their investigation found evidence that indicated the owner deliberately set the fire,” according to a Jan. 21 news release from the fire department and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

Lance has been charged with first-degree arson, insurance fraud and theft by taking.

The indictment alleges that Lance unlawfully took less than $1,500 from State Farm Fire and Casualty Company.

Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: