Prescription drug abuse killed La Grange teen; four arrested in connection with her death

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By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

Toxicology reports released today show that a 16-year-old La Grange girl's death in February is the result of prescription drug abuse.

A friend found Summer Leigh Williams, 16, of La Grange, dead on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, at a home on Monroe Street.

Williams, a junior at Oldham County High School, had spent the night at a friend's house and died during the night. 

This week, a judge issued warrants for the arrest of Phillip A. Kinser, 27; Tiffany M. Dull, 21; Tiffany E. Richardson, 34; and Roger D. Wilson II, 18, on charges related to Williams' death.

Police arrested all four on Aug. 2. Each faces a charge of unlawful transaction with a minor. 

Kinser faces an additional charge of trafficking in a controlled substance – opiates.

The state medical examiner's office ruled Williams' cause of death as “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of oxymorphone, citalopram, chlorpheniramine, and dextromethorphan.” 

Oxymorphone is a generic name for Opana, a schedule II narcotic. 

La Grange Police Chief Kevin Collett told The Era earlier this year that Opana is skyrocketing in popularity, surpassing the popularity of OxyContin and meth. 

Opana is twice as strong as OxyContin and has effects similar to morphine.

Collett said the drug’s extended release form is particularly dangerous because it is easy to overdose — crushing the pill to make it easier to swallow could be fatal.

The Opana warning label cautions breaking the tablets down “leads to the rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxymorphone.”

Just a few days before Williams died, Attorney General Jack Conway spoke to North Oldham High School students about the dangers of prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is killing an alarming number of Kentuckians – including teenagers, he said. Some of the youngest victims include a 15-year-old girl in nearby Spencer County who died in May 2011.

Collett said the number of prescription drug-related crimes has dramatically increased in the past five years.

Prescription drugs are the most common narcotic being used in the area, he said, far surpassing drugs like cocaine and heroin.

“If it hasn’t surpassed marijuana,” he said, “it’s right behind it.”

Less than 24 hours after Williams died, police raided a home just two doors down Monroe Street to arrest three people allegedly trafficking drugs.

The arrests came after a joint investigation by La Grange Police, Oldham County Police, the Oldham County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. 

Police arrested Crystal L. Bray, 26, Damone O. Jones, 28, and Ronnell Trice, 39, on drug possession and trafficking charges, although none of the three are suspected in trafficking drugs that killed Summer Williams. 

Of the four people arrested Aug. 2, only one person – Roger D. Wilson II – has been released from the Oldham County Jail. He posted a $2,500 bond early Friday morning.

Phillip A. Kinser, Tiffany M. Dull, and Tiffany E. Richardson remain in the Oldham County Jail, each on a $10,000 bond.