Family of heroin overdose victim faces suspected dealers in cour - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family of heroin overdose victim faces suspected dealers in court

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After losing a child to a heroin overdose, a Louisville family came face-to-face with a couple of suspected drug dealers inside a courtroom at the Hall of Justice on Friday.

The suspected drug dealers were back in court for a hearing, and the family of the man who died from an overdose was there to send a message and maybe save a life.

The suspects are Antwyon Murrell and Marcus Whitehead. Both are facing some serious drug charges and both have lengthy criminal histories.

"We need to take more steps to keep these people in jail," said Kenneth Allen, whose son died from a heroin overdose.

Allen is not directly connected to the case, but you could say he was more than just another casual observer.

"[I] came here because a couple of people were arrested for trafficking heroin, and that's what took my son's life," Kenneth Allen said.

In December of last year, Allen's 27-year old son, Gregory, overdosed after years of battling a heroin addiction.

Kenneth Allen said the family tried everything to help his son, from tough love to rehab. 

"[We did] everything we could, spent a lot of money, and one day he is there, and you find him the next morning where he has overdosed."

Gregory Allen's addiction started with an illness that required pain medication.

"First, he was using pain pills," Kenneth Allen said. "That's where it started at, and then when the pain pills dried up, that's when he started using heroin."

Kenneth Allen doesn't know who sold his son the drugs, but he heard about this case and went to court Friday hoping to raise awareness and save another family from the pain he's feeling.

"My life will never be the same again," he said. "My wife's life will never be the same again. I can't sleep, I haven't slept a night since this happened."

According to a police citation, the suspects were arrested on Jan. 3 with more than a 100 grams of heroin. There's even a handwritten note on the citation that said, "detective request high bond."

"One-hundred grams or more! Is that right," said Judge Sandra McLaughlin during the arraignment for the suspects on Jan. 4.

At that arraignment, Judge McLaughlin increased the bonds to $10,000 cash and refused to budge.

A public defender asked, "Judge, as a moderate risk, you could do HIP in lieu of bond, could we do that?" Judge McLaughlin responded, "That's exactly what I just undid."

Murrell paid the cash and Whitehead was eventually allowed home incarceration or HIP.

"I will leave the $10,000 bond, but I will do it HIP, in lieu of that," said Judge Anne Delahanty during another hearing on Jan. 5.

Meanwhile, it was another painful blow as Kenneth Allen watched the suspects walk out of the courtroom on Friday.

"That's terrible, when they had over 100 grams of heroin, and they let them back out," he said. "They are going to go back on the streets and do the same thing."

Kenneth Allen's pain is fresh, and his family is devastated.

But they plan to continue to following cases like this until suspected drug dealers are held accountable or put in jail.

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