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Lamar Odom Overdose: Will He Face Criminal Charges?

30-Oct-2015

When Lamar Odom was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel earlier this month, I don't think anyone was really buying the story that he had a reaction to "herbal Viagra"--especially given Odom's history of drug abuse. When reports indicated that Odom suffered ischemic stroke--common to cocaine overdose--and a hospital source claimed that Odom had "virtually every drug imaginable" in his system, few people were very surprised by the reports.Still, lab reports have not officially confirmed illegal drug use. 

In the weeks since he was found unconscious at the Love Ranch following a 4-day, $78,000 party with two prostitutes, Odom has suffered 12 strokes and had his kidneys fail, according to reports. Once thought to be at death's door, Odom is improving, and has even taken a few steps, but still faces a long road to recovery.

But will the overdose he suffered and the resulting ill-effects be considered punishment enough, or could the former NBA player and Kardashian spouse face criminal charges as a result of illegal drug abuse?

Reports say that police sought judicial permission to obtain a blood sample from Odom and have it tested for illegal drugs. Other reports indicate that investigators served a search warrant at the hospital to obtain blood test results. The Nye County Sheriff's Office calls the case an "active investigation," and says it has not ruled out the possibility of drug possession charges against Odom or criminal charges against employees of the Love Ranch.

Some reports indicate that the probable cause used to obtain a blood sample from Odom is shaky, coming only from hearsay reports that he had "white stuff" coming out his nose and mouth, and from Love Ranch prostitutes who said they could "hear him snorting" from the next room. Right now, no one is willing to admit that they saw Odom using illegal drugs.

When it comes to cases of drug overdose, it seems as if the medical condition itself should be punishment enough--a logical consequence to drug abuse. However, in a high profile case, prosecutors may want to file charges to make an example of someone.

Often, the "Haven't they suffered enough?" argument falls short. In Oklahoma, a teenage boy was arrested on a felony murder charge after obtaining prescription painkillers for his mother, who later died of a drug overdose. Ayjay McNulty, 18, told investigators that he had obtained 4 oxycodone pills from school at his mother's request and given them to her the day before she overdosed. Losing his mother--the person who directed him to obtain drugs for her--isn't punishment enough, according to prosecutors. If convicted of first degree murder in his mother's death, the teen faces the possibility of life in prison.

Whether or not Odom will be criminally charged remains to be seen, but given his celebrity status and the nation's "tough on drugs" policies, the possibility seems likely. Prosecutors like to make an example of someone, and there aren't many bigger examples than Lamar Odom. 



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