Fentanyl death leads to JSCD wanting lawmakers to change narcotics laws

Law enforcement, others taking another long look at fentanyl laws
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:00 PM CST
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff’s Department is seeing a constant increase in overdoses, specifically caused by fentanyl-laced drugs.

One recent case against Shawn Michael Thrash led to him being charged with culpable negligence manslaughter.

According to Sgt. Jake Driskell with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, the daughter of the victim arrived on scene and persistently insisted on seeing her mother, yet was not let in for an extended period of time.

“Only when they threatened to call law enforcement did Mr. Thrash allow the family in to check on Mrs. Holifield, and once they did, obviously, they could tell she was in dire medical need,” Driskell said.

Danielle Holifield, the daughter of the victim, said her mother was lying on the bathroom floor.

“He finally led me to her unconscious body and pointed,” she said. “No words, no explanation, no remorse. She was suffering, dying alone on his bathroom floor.

“It was apparent she was in that condition for a while. I got my mother the help and medical attention she deserved.”

Currently, Mississippi law says someone is not required to call 911.

However, the law does say that once aid has been begun, liability also begins.

Driskell says Thrash did just that—began to help and quit.

“He put her in the shower for 20 minutes, according to Mr. Thrash’s own statement,” Driskell said. “From previous dealings with overdosed people that he has been around, he stated that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had told him that you have 30 minutes to revive somebody out of an overdose or they can die.

“In this case, according to his own statement, he left her in the shower for over 20 minutes with no reviving.”

Driskell said the law needs to change to hold people accountable.

“(Thrash’s) actions and his inactions (are) what resulted in her death,” Driskell said.

Driskell said it’s more than likely this won’t be the last tie JCSD sees a case like this, even if it means that nobody wants to get law enforcement involved to save their own friend’s life.

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