BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - We've all heard about the danger of drugs, but in Louisiana there is one drug in particular that's recently been the one most feared; heroin. It's the drug blamed for the death of 38 people in Baton Rouge over the past year. It's now the reason Brandon Eirick, 30, is being charged with second degree murder.
"The law says if you dispense a drug that's prohibited and the person you give the drug to takes the drug and dies as a result, you can be held criminally responsible for up to life in prison," said Hillar Moore, the District Attorney in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Eirick's girlfriend, 31-year-old Leah Hutchinson, died in December from a heroin overdose. Investigators say she died after being injected by Eirick. The couple was found passed out in a car in the 6900 block of Florida Blvd. on December 18, 2013. They both lived at an apartment complex off North Sherwood Forest Drive in Baton Rouge.
District Attorney Moore says these types of charges are something that could happen more often, to try and get a better handle on the drug situation. He says this is not the first time the law has been used. One man is currently serving time, after being convicted of causing someone to die by supplying them with drugs.
"It's a good law, if you ask me ... Folks got to be prepared for the consequences when they deal dope," said West Baton Rouge Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton.
Clayton says the penalty for second degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison, meaning living your remaining days at Angola.
"We used to use it back in the 90's with the date rape drug. Young guys gave date rape drugs to the girl in an effort to take advantage of them. The drug would cause them to suffocate and die," said Clayton.
He adds in Louisiana there is something called principle, where if someone aides and abets they are just as guilty.
For Eirick, that decision will be up to a jury.
Moore says he's hopeful the state legislature will change the laws on Heroin because it is killing so many people in Louisiana.
Some feel the laws should relax somewhat, to carry a minimum of 25 years jail time.