Eastern Kentucky man sentenced to life in drug overdose case

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky man has been sentenced to life in prison for distributing prescription painkillers resulting in a woman’s death in 2011.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Kentucky said it’s the first life sentence in Kentucky in a prescription drug overdose death case.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell also sentenced 55-year-old Terry Smith of Clay County on Thursday to 30 years for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and 10 years for illegal firearms possession. Smith’s 53-year-old wife, Gerry, was sentenced to 7 ½ years for conspiring to distribute oxycodone.

A jury convicted them in January.

Prosecutors said Patty Smallwood and others traveled to Georgia to obtain painkiller prescriptions for Terry Smith, who gave them some of the pills. A toxicology report after Smallwood’s death showed four times the therapeutic level of oxycodone in her system.

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