Man faces manslaughter charge in fatal drug overdose

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Vernon Clay 'Bugsy' Martin Jr./Mt. Sterling Police Department

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 54-year-old Mt. Sterling man has been charged with manslaughter for providing the drugs that led to a fatal overdose, police said in a Facebook post.

According to police, Vernon Clay “Bugsy” Martin Jr. was charged with second-degree manslaughter under a law that took effect in July 2019 that holds the supplier of drugs accountable in cases of overdoes.

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Officers responded to a fatal overdose Monday, April 6 at a Mt. Sterling motel. Police detectives began searching video surveillance, phone records, and other evidence to identify the drug supplier, according to the Facebook post.

That investigation led to Martin’s arrest.

According to online resources, second-degree manslaughter is a class C felony with a penalty of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The police department said the prosecution should send a message.

“The Mt. Sterling Police Department wants narcotics dealers to know, that if you cause the death of an individual or continue to deal, we will use all resources to bring you to justice,” the department Facebook post said.

“The Mt. Sterling Police Department sends our condolences to the family and friends of the victim and remind individuals to seek help for any addiction or substance abuse problem they might be dealing with. There are several facilities that are open to assist,” the department added.

The department also reminded residents they can submit anonymous tips through Facebook, the tip line, or by calling the police at (859) 498-8899.