NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The first drug dealer charged with murder in Wilmington is going to prison after agreeing to a plea deal.
Aquan Richardson was originally charged with second degree murder in the death of Joshua McBride.
In 2016, Richardson sold heroin to McBride, who later overdosed.
Today in court, Richardson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, two counts of selling and delivering a scheduled controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and one count of sale and deliver a controlled substance.
During a news conference, District Attorney Ben David said they are going to continue to treat these cases as violent crimes.
“If you deal heroine in this community and cause a death you may face the prospect of long-term incarceration for that homicide,” David said.
McBride’s father, Bob McBride is holding on to memories of his son and said he is happy the legal part of this journey is over, even though it won’t bring his son back.
“He did not want to be an addict. He did not want this addiction. When he was clean he recognized the difference in the kind of person that he was,” Bob McBride said.
David is hoping this will continue to send a strong message out in the community.
“Let’s assign the blame to where it really needs to be, which is on these dealers and not on these addicts,” David said.
Bob McBride also had a message of his own to share to those with loved ones dealing with addiction.
“Help them get help, let them know help is available and love them,” Bob McBride said.
Richardson’s plea agreement comes two days after jury selection began in his trial for McBride’s death.
Richardson will spend up to 13 years behind bars.