Last month, a Roane County, West Virginia man pled guilty to giving his wife two doses of synthetic hallucinogen, which was ultimately thought to kill her. Todd Anthony Honaker, age 34, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after his wife was found dead on March 1, 2013.
The situation began when Honaker called 911 that day and told the dispatcher that his wife may have been poisoned. The emergency crew that arrived found Honaker’s wife lying on the living room floor, unresponsive. Honaker told them that 30 minutes after taking two doses of the hallucinogen, she began convulsing. It turned out that Honaker put the doses that remained back inside the envelope, put it in the trash, and brought the trash bag to the end of the driveway.
At first police thought that Honaker had given his wife LSD, but later found out that he gave her a synthetic hallucinogen known as 25b-NBOMe. While traditional drugs like LSD and cocaine are considered banned controlled substances in West Virginia, many synthetic drugs remain legal for the time being. Honaker allegedly received the hallucinogen from a manufacturer in Washington who told him that if he held it under his tongue for 30 minutes, he would feel like flying. Authorities later searched the manufacturer’s home and allegedly found 150 jars of hallucinogenic mushrooms and eight containers of unknown liquids. The man was charged with delivering a controlled substance and was extradited to West Virginia.
Meanwhile, part of Honaker’s plea deal involved cooperating with the federal authorities in the drug manufacturer’s case. His deal provoked anger and disappointment from his wife’s family, who believed that he had received a much lighter sentence than he should have because authorities were far more interested in catching the drug manufacturer than in getting justice for Honaker’s wife.
Plea bargaining is a very common process for both prosecutors and West Virginia criminal defense attorneys. In fact, more cases are resolved through plea bargaining agreements than through trial. It is often seen as a way to get the criminal suspect the relief that he or she needs without expending excessive resources on a trial. Plea bargaining may be especially beneficial to criminal suspects charged with drug possession crimes, who would do better with a treatment program than with a jail sentence. However, a plea bargain may also result in a lighter sentence for more serious crimes, especially if it involves help obtaining someone who had committed a more serious offense.
Every criminal suspect is entitled to competent representation as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. If you were charged with a crime and need representation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today to learn what you can do to defend your rights.
The Wolfe Law Firm has been providing legal services for nearly 25 years. Located in Elkins, West Virginia, the firm provides services in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and mediation. If you are looking for an experienced West Virginia attorney, contact us today.