make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Who is at fault, drug dealer or consumer?

READ MORE: Who is at fault, drug dealer or consumer?
A Wilmington woman said she lost her brother to drugs in October, and now she wants the person responsible for supplying him with the illegal narcotic to pay too. Nicholas Murray was 24 years old when he died. His family says it was from an overdose of illegal methadone, although the toxicology report is still not back yet. His sister Crystal Lewis said, "You know no one twisted his arm. Yes they did it on their own, that's fine, but they paid for what they did. Now somebody else should be paying for their part." But the laws of our state say if the defendant contributes at least one percent to resulting damages, in this case the young man's death, no one else is responsible. However, that's not good enough for his family; they want lawmakers in Raleigh to change the law. Nicholas Murray died at his apartment at The Pines of Wilmington on October 3rd. His mother got a call from one of his friends saying he had taken prescription drugs. The family believes the dealer who sold Murray the prescription drugs that lead to his death is still out there on the streets, and they want her behind bars. In another similar case, John McIntosh lost his 21-year-old daughter Renee to drugs in November. She ran into an old classmate, and two days later was found dead in his apartment. "My daughter left the house with him after work, at 11:00 at night, and at 2:00 or 3:00 Sunday morning, when we were wondering where the hell she was, she was in fact dead,” McIntosh said. Police say it was heroin that killed her. Sands is considered the party that reported her death, even though Sands is currently facing unrelated charges including heroin trafficking and armed robbery. As of now, nothing links her old classmate to her death. Both Lewis and McIntosh say the North Carolina statute called the Law of Contributory Negligence is affecting their cases. They don't want revenge, just punishment for a party they say is responsible for the death of their loved ones.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Very interesting debate.

Very interesting debate. Even more interesting is the fact that people try to prosecute the drug dealer. Of course, they should be locked up for selling an illegal substance, however, they should under no circumstances be held responsible for the death of any user. It is rather funny how many Americans twist and turn their "principles" the way it fits the current situation. How about the gun retailers? Let me remind you that the sole purpose of a gun is to kill/destruct somebody/something. So when Jack goes out to kill his sister, we should, of course, prosecute the gun dealer/manufacturer. Right? For that he sold a gun that has no other use than some form of destruction. How about the cigarette retailers/manufacturers? Lock them up, too. I am sorry for the loss of the young man, but at 24 it is time to take responsibility for your action. That is exactly what is wrong with a lot of our young people these days. They are never responsible for what they do. It is always somebody else who has to bleed for their actions.

Your argument isn't even in the least relative.

Guns are manufactured "legally" by certified and federally registered manufacturers. There is never a reason to pursue a gun maker in the event of the criminal use of a firearm. It has been attempted and the efforts have been futile.

Illegal drugs are manufactured illegally by people that know little to nothing about chemistry, no knowledge of where their contents come from or even the potency of their final product. Manufacturing of these poisons does not take sanitation of method or purity of any contents into consideration. It's a mish-mash of unknown chemicals, of unknown origin, of unknown contents, by unauthorized and untrained criminals.

Sooo, When we discover that someone has died from injecting these illegal poisons into their veins, we also search out the ILLEGAL manufacturer of those poisons in an effort to stop their poison from committing more death and family destruction.

Do you hear the little bell thingie going off in that brain-case of yours yet? I don't care where you're're stupid.

Why do you have to make it

Why do you have to make it about Americans? Is it that you resent us or are jealous of us? At least we have the right to persue cases. We may not win but we are allowed to proceed. I suspect you are European. Be glad we bailed your asses out twice in the last century. If you're Asian, work on your human rights. If you're Canadian, who cares what you think.

I think it's hilarious that

I think it's hilarious that just because u lose a loved one to drugs we actually hold the right to punish the person who sold it to them. I honestly think that the best way to deal with the crime of drug dealing is to not leave anybody to deal to in the first place. Mainly because in this day and age, we have seen the results of what all these drugs do to the generations before us, and if we in turn decide to follow in that same path we should be held responsible. If u are disgusted by the crack-heads and heroin junkies that roam the streets and wonder how these middle-aged people ended up ruining their lives, how can you possibly end up down the same road? Our generation is more screwed than the test dummies that tried in the first place, and it's not because there are more dealers. It's because there are more people that think everything can be hidden under a rug because in some way they are different from the rest. Leave the dealers alone.


You think this is a hilarious topic? My 17 year and 6 day old son was not a middle aged heroin junkie wondering the streets. The fact is you may never even know it if you are sitting next to someone who has an addiction. You must watch too much TV, because what you see as an "addict" on TV is not reality in all cases. My son was a high school student with dreams of his future. Somehow he took the wrong path, not sure where, when or how, but he is dead. My son (from what I have been told) had used heroin for about 3 months. He was not a junkie. He was punished for taking an illegal drug with his life. That is the ultimate punishment don't you think? His dealer didn't just sell him drugs, he sold him death. The dealer sold drugs to support his own drug habit (he was paid with drugs) and two other teenagers overdosed at this dealers house within two months after my son died. He needs to be behind bars and held accountable for his part in my sons death. He did sell him death afterall. People should't comment on something that they know nothing about, your comments are simply opinions. Come back and lets see how you feel when someone VERY close to you dies. I promise you will be whistiling a very different tune. Are you still amused? Is it still hilarious??

So sorry for your loss, we

So sorry for your loss, we are experiencing the same thing. Our sons addiction started after a horrible car accident he was involved with in 2008. He waa not the typical "junkie" He worked everyday as a Federal Prison Guard.Had a beautiful daughter! He had been in an outpatient drug treatment program. However, he & his daughters mom split up, he was depressed. His old drug dealer thought she would help. He bought $90 worth of "diesel" which in text messages he had never tried before. She insisted, he would be alright. March 3rd 1 hour after trying it he died.

I cant believe people are

I cant believe people are actually debating about this. For one thing a drug dealer that is scum of the earth and cant get a real job should be held responsible they provided an illegal drug in the first place in turn actually poisoning someone to death if they were reluctant to take it or not period they are murders


By saying the drug dealers are not responsible for there actions is letting then get away with an injustice. Yes people make there own choices and their choice was to sell and illegal substance. They chose to possibly kill someone when they sell drugs. They are not twisting anyone's arm to take what they sell but they are thing of the consequences to their actions either. I think they should be held responsible in some way. If you have plastic surgery and it goes wrong you or your family can sue the doctor even though no one twisted you arm to have the surgery right? I understand it is not illegal to have the surgery but you made the choice so should you not pay for it? The toxicology report is not in and for all we know what Nick thought what he was taking was different that what he actually was given. Most controlled substances do not put the name of the product on the product. Not that it would help now but don't you think they should? Is it possible the dealer thought she was giving one type of drug and gave a different one? Unless the dealer is held responsible we will not know why what he took brought upon his death. When exactly did it become ok to for a person not to be held responable for the action's they choose to take?


DRUG DEALEAR IS AT FAULT , drugs are a strong chemical like , arsenic poision ,the drug dealear is handing out a controled chemical substance ,there is really not much difference betwen the drug dealear selling drugs or arsenic posioning , or some other harmful poisionus chemical .you dont know what the chemicals are in those lil bags of street corner lowlife madness.

And...what's your IQ?

For all of those that continue to reference the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms as though any of these items are in the same “league” with illegal drugs must also support “legalizing the sale of prescription drugs” by parties that are not licensed. In other words, if we follow this position to the end, we should give the drug dealer a license to sell prescription drugs? Oh well, sounds to me like there might be an IQ issue with those that just can’t get the fact that there are two guilty parties…the consumer AND the drug dealer. The consumer died and the drug dealer is still out on the street, probably making his/her next sale. Duh? Interested Citizen

Yes, anyone should be able

Yes, anyone should be able to sell whatever drugs they wish without government meddling. Where does this idea come from that it's not up to you what you put in your body? Are you aware of how many people die because the FDA dictates the medical decisions of millions of Americans with perverse incentives? Do you realize how the drug war is destroying our families, communities, and liberties? Don't just assume the status quo is rational and call everyone who doesn't support it unintelligent.

Don't be so quick to judge...

It's sad to me that so many people jump to blame bad parenting for their children's decisions. Once a person reaches a certain age, they are responsible for their own decisions. Parents can only do so much and then they have to let go and hope that the lessons that they have taught have gotten through to their kids. Both of these families have admitted that their loved one's decisions contributed to their deaths. However, the drug dealer also made a decision in the particular lifestyle that they are living as well. They made the decision to sell the drug to these young people and they should be held accountable for that decision. As far as the other people that have been mentioned (ie. the automobile makers, pastors, and the shoe companies) I think that it's a great idea that these companies and individuals accept a small amount of responsibility, and in turn, encourage their employees to give both financially and with time and talents to community support organizations that help these individuals. If there were more support for these causes, maybe there would be less additions and deaths. It's been mentioned before that addition is a disease and I hope that more people wake up and realize that it's a disease that affects people regardless of race, gender, economic income and parent teachings and values. Anyone at anytime could become addicted to drugs. For example, you could be in a car accident and get addicted to the perscription pain killers. Guess what - It's a lifelong addition. I hope that all those so quick to judge aren't faced with the loss that these two families have experienced.

Let's Lock up the Drug Dealers!

Starting with the State Run ABC Stores. People that purchase Liquor/Wine/Beer, and the Companies & Stores that Manufacture and Sell it, because someone couldn't be responsible for their own actions, taking a innocent persons Life, or their own though "Addiction" to such "Legal" Drugs take their own Life... Sure, Let's Make "Everyone" Accountable for One's Stupid decisions.. On the Other hand... Folks, There is a REASON PROHIBITION Failed, Can We see the similarities yet on this failed "War on Drugs"?

I must admit I am a little

I must admit I am a little confused as to what you are trying to say here? Your subject line says "Lets lock up the drug dealers" yet you say "sure let's make everyone accountable for One's stupid decisions" Also: From what I gathered I didn't see anyone(just my opinion) going after revenge- after all what do they really have left to gain? There loved ones are gone forever no matter who gets punished or not. Seems like to me they want us to be safer. I think what is being done must take alot of strength & if we could lock all of the dealers up we would see alot less crime in the world. Why does it seem that people are defending drug dealers? I mean seriously- you have to be kidding! Why do we want them around anyway? What good are they doing anyone running the streets?

Wow... Let's take a logical

Wow... Let's take a logical look at the situation. A man allegedly sold a quantity of drugs to an individual that overdosed on them. If he is even the true culprit for providing the "illicit drugs" than so be it. However, the fact still remains that the death of the individual was that of her own design. Every time an individual purchases an illicit substance, they know the risks involved with such. More over, the fact she was addicted to opiates/opioids, she most likely didn't care. In the cases of addiction one seems to forget the basic rules of dealing with an unknown substance, testing for purity and concentration. Seems to me, that if she really cared to live she would have bothered to research one or the other. In addition to the fact that her own ignorance was the causative agent in her death, it is very possible she didn't understand dosing. Either way, an individual takes their own life in their hands when they choose to become involved with the substance. In the end, it is her fault. Why don't we all arrest firearms manufacturers for creating firearms, that individuals choose kill themselves with? In no way should the "dealer" be held responsible for her death, it was her fault. It seems to me that the parents, regardless of their stated stance, have a vendetta of revenge. In the end, if she hadn't purchased it from him then she would have eventually found the product that she was searching for. Social darwinism at it's best.

JUSTICE FOR NICK (could be your son, child, sister/brother)

For those that have missed an important fact: Both of the deceased’s family has admitted (as hard as it might be) they know their family member was responsible for his/her own actions…neither one was forced to take drugs. Both surviving family members realize their deceased loved one has paid the ultimate price for making a wrong and illegal decision….they willingly took an illegal substance and DIED. The surviving families are simply asking for JUSTICE. It is ILLEGAL to TAKE an illegal substance, however it is also ILLEGAL to SELL/GIVE an illegal substance. There were two parties involved in an ILLEGAL activity. One party has died because of participating in illegal activity…what consequences did the DRUG DEALER suffer? NONE. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THIS? For those that have not heard….”you are supposed to go to College for a degree in Pharmacy” to distribute/sell prescription drugs…otherwise if you choose to take on this profession …you are DRUG DEALER. Did you know that if a Pharmacist makes a MISTAKE and sells/fills a prescription incorrectly that causes harm to an individual, that PHARMACIST can be charged/sued. For those that have the philosophy that there should be no consequences for the DRUG DEALER….is that because they didn’t go to College so they don’t know any better than to sell prescription drugs so they can plead ignorance? PLEASE! To ALL the individuals that want to place blame on the Parents for not instilling the morals necessary to cause their child to abstain….you should attend a few seminars on ADDICTION. Sadly, many of the individuals that take drugs, bring about their own death…know the path they are on and cannot stop. Many will seek help, hospitalization and counseling for their addiction and yet WILL relapse…it is a DISEASE known as ADDICTION. These individuals CHOOSE to take drugs because they are victims of this DISEASE. It is a difficult and horrible disease to overcome. The success rate is not great…but it is worth the try...failure at their attempt, many times is DEATH. Just as many struggle to survive the disease of CANCER or AIDS…addicts struggle to survive the disease of ADDICTION. It’s difficult for an addict…because it means a COMPLETE LIFE CHANGE…many times it means moving physically, which is an expense (sadly) that some can’t afford. Hospitalization is an expense that many can't pay for and many times the payment for treatment of this disease is required "upfront". You may ask why that would affect the success rate of an addict kicking the habit. Well, because of the DRUG DEALER…they KNOW that their best customer is the ADDICT. Not only is the drug dealer guilty of an illegal act, but he is also taking advantage of a person with a disease. Society would not tolerate this if it were a person with Cancer or AIDS taken advantage of…why would one believe it is acceptable to take advantage of a person with a disease such as ADDICTION. When you have personally heard stories of how people really do want to change their life, how they really do want to remove the illegal drugs from their lives and you know with all of your heart that they are sincere…yet, somehow can’t manage to do it….you’ve got to know that it’s the sad disease known as ADDICTION. This disease not only affects the diseased person but it affects the entire family. Unless you are masochist, you cannot enjoy an addict’s lifestyle. DRUG DEALERS know that there will ALWAYS be a demand for illegal drugs….because their best customers have the disease of ADDICTION. Drug dealers know that many of those best customers WILL DIE. For those that feel that is acceptable…WOW. How can you defend your position…or maybe you are an addict or drug dealer simply trying to maintain the current law for your own benefit? One would wonder. Nick and Renee have died for a cause, which has affected more than one addict. I am sure many of his/her friends were/are addicts….that is how it happens. Maybe their death will cause a “life changing” effect that will prevent the death of others…”become a recovering addict and stick with it”. Be one more person to take away that reason for the DRUG DEALER with the “supply and demand” theory. However, for those in the future that do not make it…everyone should know that the ADDICT is a guilty party but only because he has a debilitating disease and the DRUG DEALER is simply A GUILTY PARTY. AMMEND THE LAW…..JUSTICE FOR NICK! Interested Citizen

casing the joint

When you put too many words in uppercase you sound like the way that dumb cop with the cop show speaks on the radio. Let your words speak for themselves - they don't need so much EMPHASIS! Most of us already comprehend English well enough to get what you are saying and don't need to be talked down to. (Plus, it has to be a pain for you to constantly switch in and out of caps lock all the time.)

In Response to "Casing The Joint"

The article was not meant to "talk down to anybody", however there are those that will take it that way I'm sure..but must ask themselves why? No one can answer that but the person that it has affected in that manner. My keyboard skills are such that "SWITCHING in AND out OF caps LOCK" is not a bother to me, and I do find that when I choose to EMPHASIS a particular word, it's a great way to do just that. ( This method of emphasing verbage has nothing to do with whether one understands English either. ) The "dumb cop show" that you speak of is not a show that I'm familiar with...I choose to spend my time on more educational topics. Your comment was directed soley at my "writing skills" and did not address any portion of the original article. Please, if you can't find comments to share concerning the "true subject" one might believe that you really "didn't get what I was saying". Your response to my article sounds to me as though you might be trying to be somewhat of a sarcastic critic...therefore, I hope my reply meets with your approval and you get this one too. Back to the subject: JUSTICE FOR NICK! Interested Citizen

You are the gift that keeps on giving!

Your very odd use of quotation marks at times that don't warrant using quotation marks was icing on the cake. Or should I have said this: Your very "odd use" of "quotation marks" at times that don't warrant using "quotation marks" was icing on "the cake." P.S. Bragging about being able to operate a Caps Lock button with relative ease is really something for an adult to brag about.

Someone has to pay?????

This is just an example of how many people today have blamed everyone else for problems that were brought on by their own reckless actions and behavior. Nicholas Murray decided to do drugs, that was his decision even though he may have known better....the dealer will sell to whom ever wants to buy the drugs. The dealers are punished if caught. But only Nicholas Murray is responsible for his death! Crystal Lewis I feel for the lost of your brother, it is hard to loose a family memeber this way. But you need to quit trying to blame everyone else for your brother's death.

Blame is the new black

Changing the current laws to allow for some accountibility on the drug dealer's part would resemble the laws we have for establishments that serve someone too much alcohol. When a drunk driver leaves a bar and kills himself or others, that bar/bartender bears some responsibilty. Nobody physically forced the DD to drink, much like no one physically forced the drug user to use. Blaming others for one's weaknesses as been around since mankind (remember that snake with the apple who snuck up on the naked lady in Eden - "but Adam, he made eat it"). Blame is unclaimed responsibility. These families understand their love ones are partially to blame - but there's plenty of blame to go around, and yes, the dealers should bear some of that blame/responsibility.

In response

In response to the alcohol & tobacco companies- these are LEGAL produts and perscrption drugs are legal when taken by the person perscribed to. HOWEVER ILLEGAL narcotics are what they are ILLEGAL! No one blames the dealer completely- but they took part in something that lead to a death. It's no different than someone helping a suicidal person hang themselves?? This is an age old debate that will have many different opinions but the outcome will be far better if drug dealers feel stiffer penalties PERIOD! As far as mothers are concerned- you can preach to your children & you SHOULD but peer pressure is there. I hope your child does steer clear of drugs- but the reality is always there. There iS always A POSSIBILITY.`

I have no problem with LEO

I have no problem with LEO going after the dealer, if they can prove who the dealer is. But that doesn't negate the fact that these individuals took these drugs on their own. They are ultimately responsible for what they do.

All blame rests with the

All blame rests with the user no one forced them to do drugs it is of their own free will. As for the dealers yes they may be scumbags but it goes back to economics if there is a demand someone will supply it.


Perhaps we should put less blame on the open market (legal or not) and ask these "victim's" mothers why they didn't teach their children strength of character. Life is about cultural habits, not penal codes. Less government, more parenting.

Replay to Dr.Billbad

Excuse me Dr. Billbad, nick was my brother, and his mother and mine did teach him about drugs. And if you had done a litlle research you would of known that our father is in Law Enforcement. So he did have a big education on wrong from right.

Niki Davis...

I understand he is your brother and you feel protective. At the same time, not specifically your family, but if you go after the drug dealers for supplying the drugs then at the same time you can go after: a. The D.A.R.E officer (not performing his job at educating the youth) b. Parents (If the child died then clearly they didn't get the point across - policeman or not) c. Makers of the vehicle used to transport the "victim" to the crack house d. builders of the building/park/parking lot where the drug deal went down e. Friends for not telling him to stop f. Brand of shoes he was wearing because it allowed him to walk into that door. g. Pastor - he didn't get the point across either The list can go on and on. My point is - your brother-and your brother only- made a decision. Unfortunately he paid with his life. It is no one’s fault but his own. The drug dealers can be caught and tried for whatever laws they broke but in no means did they have any part in killing your brother. Now if he had a gunshot wound or other physical trait then you have a point. If he just had a bad high then that is no one’s fault but his own.


I have got to say your comment is so insenstive it should no have been allowed. More importantly, I have never heard such crazy nonsense as you have stated, I mean " blame the shoe company"?? Are you serious about this you write?? It is people like you who are cleary uneducated about the reasons why a person may end up being so unfortunate to take drugs that really hit a nerve!! Give the small time dealers huge sentences and they will reconsider selling for the "bigger men", make sure if a person dies because of drug abuse that the dealer is charged with at least culpible homicide and uo that BLOODY sentence too. CAR COMPANY, SHOE MAKER, THEIR PARENTS, WHAT THE HELL YOU ON ABOUT?? I mean dont be mistaken I know you exactly what you are saying but it is a crazy philosophy

Who is at fault, drug dealer or consumer?

I am the other sister to Nicholas Murray and i back my sister up 100%. People say that they want drug dealers off the streets, but when it come to a crime that they help in ( as in the death of my brother) they say nothing can be done. Well if you can be charged just for being with a group that causes an armed robbery, murdder with a gun or assualt why then can you not be held accountable when you contribute to the death of someone with drugs.


is going to hurt...but your brother...WAS A DRUG USER...he was a CRIMINAL and he died for making criminal decisions. If your brother and people like him weren't out looking for drugs....THERE WOULDN'T BE A MARKET FOR THEM..THUS putting drug dealers out of business...your brother put money in the pockets of drug dealers...keeping them in a job...BOTH your brother AND the drug dealer are criminals....and BOTH need each other to keep the cycle going...NEITHER is better than the other and NEITHER is any less of a criminal than the other.