BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A 20-year-old died after using heroin and the man who allegedly sold him the drug is now facing a second-degree murder charge. The mother of the young man who died says her son's fate and the man arrested for participating in it should serve as a warning to everyone.
"It only takes once. One time is all it takes and your life is over," said Jamie Fell, mother of James "Alex" Brasfield. "This is a bad epidemic in Baton Rouge. We have to stop these kids from killing themselves."
Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Brandon Jamal Parker, 24, for Brasfield's death. Investigators say Parker sold Brasfield heroin on March 6, 2015. He was dead the following morning.
"I want all these drug dealers and all these kids to know that I'm going to get justice for my son," Fell said. "I'm thankful that they're charging him with something, that my son's death is not going to be in vain. If my son's death is going to stop one more person from dying, I can deal with that."
Along with the second-degree murder charge, Parker is facing a slew of additional charges. He is being held on $151,000 bond.
According to the probable cause report, detectives with the Baker Police Department were conducting a separate investigation on Parker at the same time EBRSO was investigating Brasfield's death.
"This investigation led to approximately $7,200 case, 89.5 grams of heroin, firearm and other drug-related items seized from [Parker's] apartment complex on Greenwell Springs Road," the deputy noted in the report.
Court records show that Parker has been arrested a handful of times with charges going back to 2009. He's served a minimal amount of time in jail and was primarily sentenced to probation.
Fell hopes her son's death will serve as a warning to other parents.
"Parents need to be aware, they need to be vigilant," she said. "They need to know what to look for, who their kids are hanging around.
"My son was full of life," she continued. He was my best friend. He had such an infectious smile and blue eyes and he just wanted to make everyone happy. You couldn't be in a bad mood around him. You don't have to be a bad kid for this to happen to you. It just takes that one time."