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Man indicted on charges of felony murder, distributing methylone in 2013 case
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A man has been indicted and charged with felony murder and the distribution of methylone.

Jacob Chance Scarborough was indicted May 28 by a Hall County grand jury in the 2013 death of Austin Brantley, 19, of Flowery Branch.

Scarborough was charged with felony murder, distribution of methylone and involuntary manslaughter, according to the indictment.

Brantley died on May 9, 2013. Hall County Coroner Marion Merck said Brantley’s autopsy report lists “complications of methylone” in the cause of death.

“Methylone is the main ingredient in the designer drug Explosion (and) has been found in so-called bath salt products,” according to the report read by Merck. “Adverse effects include sweating, nausea, seizures, convulsions.”

According to the indictment, Scarborough is accused of causing Brantley’s death “without any intention to do so by providing a controlled substance to Austin Brantley, the true identity of which was not known to said accused…”

Information for Scarborough was not available in the Hall County Comprehensive Justice Information System.

Multiple Flowery Branch Police Department officers are listed as witnesses for the grand jury proceedings. Flowery Branch Police Chief David Spillers deferred comment on the investigation to Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.

Due to the case’s ongoing nature, Darragh declined to comment.

Brantley’s father also declined to comment.

Dr. Vin Nagaraj, who specializes in general and addiction psychiatry at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, said methylone is less common. More people, he said, would be familiar with MDMA — commonly known as ecstasy — which has a similar structure to methylone.

“Most of the people who are admitted in-patient typically use other typical stimulants like methamphetamine or a prescribed amphetamine like Ritalin or Adderall or Concerta,” Nagaraj said.

The drug has not been seen as much in recent years, Nagaraj said.

“I feel like there was a spike between 2011, 2012, 2013 — those were kind of the peak years in what we’ve seen,” he said. “It’s sort of dropped off sometime last year.”

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