Fayette Co. teen to be tried as adult after allegedly giving drugs that led to classmates’ overdose deaths
SOMERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge has ruled that a Fayette County teenager who is accused of giving her classmates drugs that led to their overdose deaths in their high school parking lot will be tried as an adult in the alleged murders.
On May 16, three teens were found unresponsive in the parking lot of Fayette-Ware Comprehensive High School in Somerville.
Two of those teens, a 16- and 17-year-old, were pronounced dead on the scene.
The third, surviving teen, a 17-year-old girl, is now charged with the other two’s murders. Her identity has not been released.
All three were juniors at the school.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office says preliminary information shows that fentanyl was found among the drugs, which have been sent to a crime lab for analysis.
Cameras were not allowed inside Wednesday’s juvenile court hearing, but the prosecution argued that the Fayette County community is tired of the prevalence of drugs and overdoses.
The director of the Fayette Drug Task Force testified in court that there has been an increase in overdose deaths in the county.
In 2023 alone, he says there have been 77 overdoses in Fayette County. He says 33 were fentanyl-related, and 21 were fatal.
In court, the teens’ autopsies were shown, revealing the teens died from a combination of fentanyl and Xylazine, a commonly used horse tranquilizer.
Deputies with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office say they are working to bring the DARE program back to the school district to help combat the problem.
“That’s something that’s been around for years. The curriculum has been in the schools, but we haven’t had officers that are trained to teach it until now and we see the need is there,” said Fayette County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ray Garcia.
Three Fayette County deputies will receive DARE training next month to bring the drug prevention program to Fayette County Elementary, Middle and High School students.
Officials with Fayette County Public Schools posted on their Facebook page back in July that they are also adding other safety measures, including the use of the Skylert notification system to call parents if their child is absent, camera monitoring, and increased drug searches.
As for the 17-year-old being tried as an adult, she is currently on house arrest and living with her grandmother.
Her attorney says since the incident, she has been in therapy and has been showing progress.
Her case at some point will now be heard by a grand jury.
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