Murder charge for dealer under new law

March 5, 2010 at 7:11 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 5 (UPI) -- Prosecutors say they will try a man under a new Louisiana law in which murder charges can be brought against drug dealers whose clients overdose.

In one of the first such cases, Orleans Parish prosecutors have levied second-degree murder charges against Walter Solomon, 41, accused in court documents of supplying powdered heroin to Jennifer Schmidt, who subsequently overdosed last June, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Friday.

The amended second-degree murder law went into effect last year and with it a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.

New Orleans police Capt. Jeff Winn launched an undercover sting leading to Solomon's arrest June 27, the newspaper said. He was charged in August.

A seven-count indictment was handed down accusing Solomon of dealing heroin and cocaine on various dates in 2009 and of killing Schmidt by handing her heroin instead of the cocaine Schmidt wanted.

Police allege Solomon mistakenly handed over the heroin instead of the cocaine customers had requested, the Times-Picayune said.

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