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August 11, 2022

Two Arrested for Murder After Teen Dies from Fentanyl Overdose

 Two people are facing murder charges after toxicology results revealed a local 15-year-old died after overdosing on the dangerous drug fentanyl.

In the evening hours of July 12, 2022, deputies with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office responded to a Bush-area residence in response to a 15-year-old suffering from what family members believed to be an opiate overdose.  Efforts to revive the juvenile were unsuccessful.

During a joint investigation with the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, STPSO detectives learned the juvenile had a history of abusing prescription pain medication, particularly the drug Percocet.  They located several pills in the home, which were identified by their markings as oxycodone hydrochloride (Percocet).  Suspecting those pills may have been counterfeit, detectives sent them to be analyzed.  The analysis of those pills revealed they were fentanyl. 

Through further investigation, detectives learned Felisia Grantham, a family member of the deceased teenager, had purchased the pills earlier in the day from Alvin Laurant of Covington.  Detectives were able to secure arrest warrants for both Grantham and Laurant:

Grantham was taken into custody and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center on July 26, 2022 on the following charges: Distribution/Possession with the intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS (Felony), Cruelty to Juveniles (Felony), Violations of CDS within 2,000 feet of a school (Felony), and Illegal Use of CDS in the Presence of Person Under Seventeen Years of Age (Misdemeanor).

Members of the US Marshals Service assisted in the apprehension of Laurent, and a search of the residence where he was apprehended yielded the discovery of more illegal narcotics. 

Laurent was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center on July 19, 2022 on the following charges: Distribution/Possession with the intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS (Felony), Cruelty to Juveniles (Felony), Violations of CDS within 2000 feet of a school (Felony), Prohibited Acts; False Representation (Felony), Distribution/Possession with the intent to Distribute Schedule I CDS (Felony), Distribution/Possession with the intent to Distribute Schedule II CDS (Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Misdemeanor), Illegal Use of CDS in the Presence of Person Under Seventeen Years of Age (Misdemeanor), and Prohibited Acts; False Representation (Felony). 

On August 10, 2022, detectives were contacted by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office after toxicology results proved the teenager had in fact died from “Fentanyl Toxicity”. On August 11, 2022,  Grantham and Laurant, who were both still incarcerated in the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center, were rebooked for the additional charge of Second-degree Murder.

Sheriff Randy Smith urged all residents to use this death and subsequent arrests as a warning. “Fentanyl is deadly, and fake prescription drugs that are laced with fentanyl are being sold on the streets. The best way to protect yourself is to only take prescription drugs that are obtained from a licensed pharmacy.” Sheriff Smith said. “Parents please talk to your children and warn them of the dangers of experimenting with drugs. One pill can kill.”

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