Suspected drug dealer charged with murder in Dunwoody man’s overdose death

Police did not say how Lightsey was identified as the person suspected of selling the lethal dose of drugs to the victim, but Cheek noted that this is the second instance of an alleged drug dealer being charged with murder in Dunwoody after an overdose death.

ExploreAlleged drug dealer charged with murder after man, 22, dies from overdose

In the first case, from 2019, 28-year-old Antoin Thornton was charged in the death of a 22-year-old man, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The victim in that case overdosed on heroin that had been laced with fentanyl, police Chief Billy Grogan said.

Officials in the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office admitted at the time that prosecuting the murder charge would be difficult. That prediction has borne out as Thornton’s case lingers in the system more than four years later, although court proceedings across the country suffered serious disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thornton was arrested in May 2019, about two months after the victim’s overdose. He was held in jail until March 2020, when he was released on $15,000 bond. Thornton was reindicted in November 2021 and his case still has not gone to trial, according to court records.

“In the last six years, Dunwoody police officers have responded to over 156 overdose incidents and 35 of those resulted in death,” Cheek said Friday. “The majority of these incidents involved opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl and many prescription pills.”

In Gwinnett, Lightsey is accused of trafficking methamphetamine and heroin as well as possession of cocaine, marijuana and other controlled substances, jail records show. He also faces a felony gun count and multiple misdemeanor charges.

Cheek thanked the Gwinnett sheriff’s office and the DA offices in Gwinnett and DeKalb for their help in charging Lightsey.

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