FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — Darlene Jackson, 18, was a Burnet High School senior who, like many of her classmates, was probably looking forward to graduation in the spring of 2013. But the student, who also worked part time at the Crazy Gal’s Cafe in Burnet, never walked across the field at Bulldog Stadium.
On Oct. 27, 2012, Jackson was found dead in her home. Officials later ruled her death was from an heroin overdose.
About 14 months later, the Burnet County Grand Jury indicted two people in connection with Jackson’s death for their role in providing her with the heroin that would eventually take her life.
Kyley Denton Wills, 23, and Paige Amanda Moffett, 21, face third-degree manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance charges for allegedly providing the heroin to Jackson the day before her death. But prosecutors believe they didn’t just provide it, they were there with Jackson when she used the drug, possibly using it themselves.
“Basically, what this case is about is the delivery of heroin that occurred on the 26 (of October 2012); then, there appeared to be a group use of the heroin,” said Burnet County Assistant District Attorney Richard Crowther. “Then, it turned out an 18-year-old lady died of the heroin.”
Officials don’t know if the two suspects were present when Jackson died.
Crowther said, under typical drug delivery situations, a charge of delivery of this amount and type of illicit material would have warranted a state jail felony charge, which draws less punishment. But with Jackson’s death attributed to the heroin, it ups the charge to a third-degree felony.
The two could face up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine if convicted of the offense.
Crowther said, during his career, he has witnessed how drugs can destroy a person. Still, this case stands out.
“It’s unusual because we don’t have all that many people immediately die from the overdose,” he said.
With or without a death, Crowther said the district attorney’s office takes all drug delivery cases seriously.
“The controlled substance is poisoning, basically, the youth of our community,” he said.
Both Wills and Moffett were booked into the Burnet County Jail on Jan. 27 and being held in lieu of a $25,000 bond each. Moffett is also being held on an additional manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance charge out of Llano County, according to jail records.