ADEL, GA (WALB) - The Cook County Grand Jury indicted a Cook County woman last week for felony murder, in connection with the August 2013, death of an educator following a drug overdose.
Jurors heard evidence that Rosalind Pettiford, 54, of Hahira, sold methadone without a prescription to Beverly Clyburn.
Clyburn, 49, of Adel overdosed on the drug and died at Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, three days after being admitted.
The Grand Jury returned a true bill against Pettiford for violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, possession of methadone with intent to distribute, possession of Oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm (Ruger .22-caliber revolver) during the commission of a crime, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, use of a communication facility in commission of a felony (cell phone), and drugs not in original container (two counts).
While Clyburn was on life support evidence shows that Pettiford texted her victim's cell phone, and offered to sell her more drugs.
Sheriff's officials set up a controlled "buy" sting and arrested Pettiford when she brought Percocet and Methadone to Clyburn's home. She was released on a $34,300 property bond.
Pettiford was stopped for a traffic violation on Nell Purvis Road in Cook County, and officers found unprescribed Ambien the car. She faces new charges of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule IV controlled substance, criminal attempt to distribute a controlled substance, and use of a telecommunications device to commit a felony. Pettiford was placed in the Cook County Jail.
Methadone is involved in one out of every three overdose deaths, according to the CDC.
"Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic across the country and unfortunately our community is not immune," Cook County Sheriff Doug Hanks said. "The Sheriff's Office and the Office of the District Attorney are using whatever is available to combat this problem in our community. We hope the Grand Jury has sent a message with this felony murder charge about how seriously we view the illegal selling of prescription drugs in Cook County and will hold those who contribute to the problem responsible."