Two charged in 2023 overdose death

Two people are now facing charges for the overdose death of a 31-year-old female on Jan. 16, 2023, in Monongalia County. 

At the time, deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) were dispatched to a residence at Viewcrest Village in Maidsville for a cardiac arrest, but upon arrival found four people had overdosed on what appeared to be cocaine. 

According to criminal complaints, three of the individuals were transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and were later released. 

A fourth individual, Brandy Lee Evans, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Remnants of the believed cocaine were seized and sent to a state police lab for testing. The lab later confirmed the substance was not cocaine, but fentanyl. 

Following an autopsy, Evans’ cause of death was listed as fentanyl/norfentanyl intoxication. 

According to MCSD Detective Sgt. Joshua Ward, an investigation was conducted using cell phone records, cell phone examinations, geolocation data and witness statements. 

The investigation found that William James McCuskey, 43, of Morgantown, neglected to seek medical help for Evans and instead called the person who sold them the drugs, Aamyiah Michelle Pugh, 22, of Morgantown, to bring Narcan and assist in cleaning up the scene before calling 911. 

Ward stated this delay, which could have been anywhere between 10-30 minutes, substantially hindered Evans’ chance for survival. 

McCuskey is charged with failure to render aid. 

Pugh, who originally sold the drugs, is charged with drug delivery resulting in death. 

Both individuals were arraigned in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on April 5. They were released after posting $50,000 bonds. 

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for April 15. 

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