BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT/WNCN) — A Newport drug dealer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Thursday after selling heroin to a man who died of an overdose, the district attorney’s office said.
April Guthrie Thomas, 34, was originally charged with second-degree murder.
Thomas, who was also convicted on a delivery of heroin charge, was sentenced to three to five years on those charges.
Thomas is already serving a prison sentence stemming from cocaine and heroin charges from 2015.
She will not serve her new sentence until her current sentence is complete.
Kendall Walbert, 23 at the time, died of a heroin overdose in August 2014 after buying drugs from Thomas and co-defendant Michael Becker, the district attorney’s office said.
Thomas told authorities she traded the heroin for a food stamp card which turned out to have zero balance.
Thomas also told deputies her heroin was “strong stuff” and two people had overdosed in her home on it
She told deputies she overdosed twice on it herself.
Walbert was originally from California was living in Morehead City with his father.
Tanya Anderson, Walbert’s mother, said her son was in North Carolina to meet and get to know his father’s side of the family.
He planned on returning soon to California, where Anderson lives.
Anderson said she was not satisfied with the sentence Thomas received.
“I feel that it’s not enough time … she should get out when I get my son back — NEVER,” Anderson wrote in a Facebook message to CBS North Carolina. “Kendall is my world.”
CBS North Carolina Investigates pulled data from 2010 to 2014 and found the number of people dying just from heroin use has jumped up 584 percent.
In 2014, more than 250 people died of a heroin overdose in North Carolina, according to North Carolina Public Health.