COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In front of Franklin County Judge Kimberly Cocroft, 27-year-old Lindsey Newkirk pleaded guilty to injecting her father with a deadly dose of heroin.
Leonard Newkirk, 55, was discovered inside a West Broad Street motel in February of last year. Newkirk admitted both she and her father were heroin addicts. She said she would prepare the drug and inject it into her arm first and then her father’s. Unfortunately, her case isn’t as rare as it would seem.
“We’ve indicted seven to eight of these kinds of cases in the last year,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.
Ohio’s status as the nation’s overdose capital is growing. In a grim statistic, Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. One in nine heroin overdose deaths happen right here in Ohio.
“My last count there were over 400 drug overdose deaths in Franklin County in the last year in a half,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien says it’s time to start going after the drug dealers and send them a message if the drugs they sell kill someone.
“If we can prove it, we are going to charge you with manslaughter,” O’Brien said.
This year, the county will aggressively go after those who sell drugs and the drug users themselves. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office is in the process of creating an opioid task force.
“This is on everybody’s radar, and people are paying attention. I am encouraged we can be at a better position at the end of the year than we are now.”
The task force will focus on three tools — education, prevention and treatment — in hopes of putting a stop to a statewide problem.