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New Kansas law prompted by death of Baxter Springs man - KOAM TV 7

New Kansas law prompted by death of Baxter Springs man

Updated April 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM CST:  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a new bill into law that creates two new crimes involving controlled substances in the state.

The new law prohibits the unlawful distribution of controlled substances that result in great bodily harm or death.

The legislation is inspired from the death of Jordan Krokroskia.  He was found dead in his home last year after taking a Fentanyl patch which he got from David Tirrell.

Tirrell was charged with voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.

With the new law a drug dealer could now be sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, and 54 years if he or she has three prior person felony convictions.

 

Updated February 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM CST:  A Scammon, Kansas man is sentenced for involuntary manslaughter after a death from a prescription drug patch.

David Tirrell, 35, cried during a statement today in court from the mother of Jordan Krokoskia.

Tirrell entered a plea agreement with the attorney general's office, reducing a charge of murder to involuntary manslaughter.  Tirrell was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Krokoskia died of an overdose from the Fentanyl patch sold to him by Tirrell.

Krokoskia's case has spurred legislation that's now on the Kansas House floor.

House Bill 2044 would make it a felony if someone sells drugs that result in a serious injury or death.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says the increase in prescription drug abuse has led to a dramatic increase in overdose deaths, especially among young people.  Even cold medicine with Codeine has been associated with a death.

The sheriff says current law doesn't address the problem.

"We're seeing far too many people young adults overdosing and dying because they don't think from doing these drugs, because they think they're safe," says Sheriff Groves.  "We need to send a clear message to the people who are willing to sell these drugs - if you sell drugs and it results in someone's death you're going to be held accountable."

Sheriff Groves says the new felony enhances the penalties the court can impose.

The bill mirrors federal legislation and laws existing in three other states.

The Krokoskia family testified in support of the bill.

As a matter of disclosure, Stacy Krokoskia, Jordan's mother, is an employee of KOAM-Fox 14.

 

Updated January 3, 2013:  A Cherokee County, Kansas man plead guilty yesterday in connection with the death of a 22 year-old.

David Tirrell, 35 of Scammon, plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jordan Krokroskia.

Krokroskia was found dead in his home and Tirrell was arrested for supplying Krokroskia with Fentanyl the previous evening.

In his plea Tirrell admitted to selling a 100 microgram Fentanyl patch to Krokroskia that evening.

 

Posted August 24, 2012 - News release issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

On July 25th, 2012, emergency responders were summoned to a Baxter Springs residence, where 22 year-old Jordan Krokroskia had been found dead in his home.

An investigation into Krokroskia's death was conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and the Baxter Springs Police Department, and following an autopsy, it was confirmed that Krokroskia died from Fentanyl Intoxication.

Fentanyl is a scheduled II controlled substance, often prescribed by physicians for pain management and is considered much more potent than morphine. 

During the course of the investigation, David M. Tirrell, 34, of Scammon, was identified as the person suspected of unlawfully providing Krokroskia with Fentanyl on the night of July 24th, 2012.

Earlier today a warrant was issued in Cherokee County District Court for Tirrell's arrest and he was located in Girard, Kansas where he was taken into custody by the Crawford County Sheriff's Office.

He was then transported to the Cherokee County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $1,000,000.00 bond on charges of First Degree Felony Murder and Using a Communication Device to Further a Drug Transaction.

Tirrell is alleged to have committed First Degree Felony Murder because the Distribution of a Controlled Substance is recognized in Kansas as an Inherently Dangerous Felony. 

As such, a death that occurs as a result of the underlying felony is charged as First Degree Felony Murder.

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