Proposed law could define drug-induced homicide as murder

March 1, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced legislation that could have drug dealers who sell substances that lead to a fatal overdose facing life in prison.

Current state law states any person convicted in the sale, delivery or distribution of a controlled substance to a minor who overdoses could face a life sentence.

The new proposal introduced by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Sen. Hanna Gallo would include victims of any age.

If passed, the legislation would be named “Kristen’s Law,” in honor of Kristen Coutu. The 29-year-old was found dead in her car after overdosing on fentanyl in 2014.

Aaron Andrade allegedly sold the drug to Coutu, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 20 to serve.

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