Winchester Police charged an accused drug dealer with murder Thursday for allegedly selling heroin to a man who died in August from an overdose.
Harold Wayne Salyers, 52, of 1815 Old Ruckerville Road, was arrested after the final toxicology test results came back from Wade Dickerson’s autopsy, Winchester Police Capt. James Hall said this morning. When Dickerson died on Aug. 7, police believed it was an accidental death.
Hall said Dickerson’s acquaintances said he had never used heroin before. Salyers also was named as the one who sold the heroin to Dickerson, he said.
“Shortly after we received this information, we executed a search warrant and found heroin in (Salyers’) possession that would lead us to charge him with trafficking,”¿on Aug. 8, Hall said. Officers found 2.8 grams of heroin worth $900 in Salyers’ home.
According to court records, Salyers was released after posting 20 percent of his $5,000 bond in district court. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance Nov. 7.
Police are charging Salyers with wanton murder. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, wanton murder includes when a person “wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person and thereby causes the death of another person.”
“We’re dealing with something that’s illegal to begin with,” Hall said. “There’s no proper way to take heroin because it’s illegal.”
The toxicology results, which were just released, showed nothing but heroin in Dickerson’s system, police said.
Hall said this is the first time the department has pursued charges against a suspected drug dealer for another person’s death.
“It’s normally difficult to find out who the dealer is,” Hall said. “A lot of times, there’s a mixture of drugs (in the body). In this case, the medical examiner said it was only the heroin that caused the death and we could link it back to Mr. Salyers.”
Other than his drug trafficking arrest, Salyers has no previous arrests in Clark County. Hall said he moved to the area about four months ago.
Heroin has been gaining prominence locally, as restrictions have tightened on pill trafficking, Hall said.
The police will be pursuing suspected drug dealers aggressively, Hall said, including murder charges for overdoses.
“If it wasn’t for the dealers, we wouldn’t have a problem, “¿Hall said. “We’re going to take this very seriously.”
Salyers will likely be arraigned Monday morning in Clark District Court.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.