UPDATE: Damon Harris was sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling a bad batch of heroin that resulted in the death of one person.
ORIGINAL: A Raleigh County man accused of drug and manslaughter charges appears in court Tuesday afternoon (6/13).
Damon Harris is no stranger to handcuffs as he has had a criminal history dating back to 2012. That includes drug possession, and, more recently a voluntary manslaughter charge.
The charges come after Harris was accused of selling a bad batch of heroin resulting in the death of one person. Harris pleaded guilty on all charges, but the voluntary manslaughter charge was a different story.
“Guilty under Kennedy plea,” said Harris. Harris entered a Kennedy plea meaning he wasn’t willing to risk more severe consequences for the felony charge.
Now Harris faces up to 80 years behind bars. The assistant prosecuting attorney, Benjamin Hatfield said this outcome is good news. “I think it’s a big win,” said Hatfield.
For Hatfield, his job is about keeping people like Harris off of the streets. “This is a strong message, but hopefully other citizens conducting this kind of activity will change their behavior or deal with the consequences,” said Hatfield.
He wants others like Harris to know, Raleigh County will not tolerate drug activity. “No breaks will be given, if you push the issue, felony murder charges will be brought,” said Hatfield.
Harris will remain in the Southern Regional Jail until July 20, 2017 when he is sentenced.