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Adam R. Banner ATTORNEY AT LAW
 
 

With friends like these . . .

08-Sep-2014

Two people in Missouri are charged with voluntary manslaughter and desecration of a corpse after they allegedly let their friend die of a drug overdose, posed for a selfie with his dead body, and then dumped his body in a rural driveway.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Reports say that 24-year-old Chelsie Berry was hanging out with her friend Nathan Meyer when the man decided to inject himself with Dilaudid, a narcotic painkiller. Berry told police that she declined to participate because that wasn't her drug of choice, but told Meyer to go ahead. She said that after he injected himself, he started acting "crazy" and exposing himself. His erratic behavior made her nervous, so she called Jared Prier, 28, a friend of Meyer's that she had met the night before.

By the time Prier met up with Berry, Meyer had passed out. Prier drove his friends to a nearby truck stop, where he and Berry went inside to get a drink, leaving their unconscious friend in the vehicle. When they returned, says Berry, they discovered that Meyer did not appear to be breathing. However, she says that because she and Prier were "high on meth and Xanax," they were afraid to take him to a hospital or call emergency services for help. Instead, they let him die. 

Not only did they fail to get help for their dying friend, once he was dead, they posed for a selfie with his lifeless body, then drove the corpse to a rural area and dumped it because it "started to smell bad."

After the she and Prier dumped their friend's body, Berry uploaded the selfie to Facebook. 

Police were tipped off about the incident after someone saw the picture of Prier, Berry, and Meyer's corpse on Facebook.

Although the coroner has not officially established a cause of death for Meyer, police say there is no apparent trauma, and drug overdose is suspected.

Chelsie Berry and Jared Prier were each booked into jail on complaints of voluntary manslaughter and desecration of a corpse. Each is held on $50,000 bond.

Oklahoma manslaughter charges are not designated as voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, but rather first and second degree manslaughter. Defined in 21 O.S. § 711, first degree manslaughter is an act of homicide that occurs without intent to cause death either in the commission of a misdemeanor; in the heat of passion and in a cruel and unusual manner or by use of a dangerous weapon; unnecessarily to resist an attempted crime; or by a physician who administers drugs or practices medicine while intoxicated. First degree manslaughter in Oklahoma is punishable by a minimum of 4 years in prison.



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