The artificial opioid fentanyl, typically packaged to seem like different prescribed drugs, has destroyed lives and devastated households who’ve misplaced family members that died from fentanyl-related overdoses.
Matt Capelouto, who misplaced his 20-year-old daughter to a fentanyl overdose in 2019, simply two days earlier than Christmas, labored to vary how prosecutors dealt with loss of life circumstances involving the opioid.
KTLA’s Karen Wynter stories on the opioid disaster in Half Three of the “Preventing Fentanyl” collection.
A university scholar in her sophomore 12 months at Arizona State College, Alexandra Capelouto, was majoring in sociology. She was additionally a budding artist and a gifted poet, her dad and mom stated.
Her storybook life was lower quick in 2019, after the 20-year-old purchased what she thought had been oxycodone tablets on Snapchat.
The tablets turned out to be counterfeits that had been full of 5 instances the deadly quantity of fentanyl.
Alexandra’s mom, Christine, found her useless within the bed room of their Temecula dwelling the subsequent morning.
“It’s a recreation changer, life won’t ever be the identical. That’s for positive,” Capelouto informed KTLA.
The Riverside County Coroner dominated Alexandra’s loss of life an unintentional overdose, however her father disagreed. He believed her loss of life was homicide as a result of she by no means knew the medication that she consumed would kill her.
That’s when Capelouto relentlessly launched into a mission that may shake up the prison justice system in Riverside County and shortly get the eye of the county’s district legal professional.
“You recognize, his query sort of haunted me. ‘Why isn’t this homicide? Why isn’t the DA’s workplace and regulation enforcement in Riverside County taking a look at this as what it’s? It needs to be homicide,’” DA Hestrin stated of a letter he obtained from Alexandra’s father.
Capelouto informed KTLA that he and Hestrin met after the tragedy, that he shared his story with the DA and that he agreed that Alexandra’s loss of life was homicide.
“Not solely did he pay attention, however he took motion,” Capelouto stated.
Since 2021, the Riverside County DA’s workplace has prosecuted about 20 fentanyl loss of life circumstances, 15 of them with homicide expenses. One other 5 are federal loss of life circumstances, not thought-about homicide however it’s an equal federal offense.
Different jurisdictions, like San Bernardino and Orange counties, have taken discover, with drug sellers now dealing with attainable homicide expenses if somebody dies from fentanyl poisoning.
“In my daughter’s quick 20-year life, she taught me much more within the final two and a half years than I ever taught her,” Capelouto stated.
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