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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Autopsy results reveal no medical cause

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jessie A. Sowers
Preliminary autopsy results for a 17-year-old Clay City High School junior show no medical reason for her death after an alleged Fentanyl overdose Friday evening.

According to officials, pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr performed an autopsy on Haley Bryan at Terre Haute Regional Hospital Monday. Results of the toxicology reports could take several weeks to be completed.

On Friday, Bryan was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital by friends, including two 17-year-old juveniles (one male and one female) and Jessie A. Sowers, 18, Bowling Green. Because juvenile court records are sealed, the names of the juvenile suspects are not being released.

Since Bryan died from an alleged drug overdose, hospital officials contacted the Clay County Sheriff's Department to investigate the matter.

During the initial investigation, officials learned the two males allegedly stole a Fentanyl Transdermal pain patch from an undisclosed individual, who is prescribed the medication for pain management. One of the males then apparently removed the Fentanyl from the patch so the four youths could allegedly smoke it.

Within a few minutes of ingestion, Bryan apparently showed symptoms of an overdose and lost consciousness.

During questioning, investigators were told the remaining three individuals drove around county roads in the Clay City and Bowling Green area for almost an hour before deciding to take Bryan to the hospital at 7:30 p.m.

With no evidence of an attempt to report the incident to the Clay County 911 Dispatch Center, officials confirmed the three suspects' phone records would be reviewed during the ongoing investigation.

Initially charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and theft, the three suspects were taken into custody for their alleged involvement in taking and illegally using the Fentanyl. Facing a $25,000 cash bond (with no 10 percent allowed), Sowers was incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center and the two juveniles were detained at a juvenile detention center until court proceedings could be scheduled.

On Sunday, Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout was presented a 17-page probable cause affidavit by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office to determine whether Sowers should remain incarcerated longer than 48 hours. In the affidavit, officials provided case information/evidence about potential felony charges to be filed in the matter.

If the document had not been presented to and signed by a judge, Sowers would have been released on his own recognizance per legal protocols early Monday morning.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Prosecutor's Office filed formal charges against Sowers in Clay Circuit Court, including class B felony dealing or delivering a controlled substance, class D felony possession of a controlled substance, class D felony conspiracy to commit theft, two class A misdemeanor charges of false informing and interference with the reporting of a crime and a class B misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance.

Sowers is expected to appear for an initial hearing and further court proceedings today.

Meanwhile, the two juvenile suspects -- who are waiting to be formally charged in the matter -- also appeared in Clay Circuit Court for a detention hearing Tuesday.

Officials confirmed the female suspect was placed on electronic home detention, while the male suspect was returned to Muncie Reception and Diagnostic Center to await further juvenile court proceedings.

According to Prosecutor Lee Reberger, the court gave the state 72 hours to file petitions alleging juvenile delinquency by the youths in each of pending matters.

Although unable to comment further on the pending legal cases, Reberger confirmed the matter remains under investigation and additional charges could be filed if warranted.

Law enforcement officials are very concerned about drug cases involving young people experimenting with prescription drugs.

"We're seeing a drastic increase in the numbers of young people experimenting with substances that are not normally abused," Reberger said. "When we see these substances being used in a way not prescribed by physicians, the results can be serious even deadly. We're hoping the community will become aware that this is happening and will become more comfortable in reporting incidents with law enforcement and seek medical care if a friend or loved one should become ill from (improper) use of these substances."

Information about Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic narcotic pain medicine (which comes in powder or gel forms) used for treating persistent moderate to severe pain in opioid-tolerant patients who need to be on pain medication around-the-clock for more than just a few days.

This is extremely important because patients who are opioid-tolerant are more resistant to the dangerous side effects of narcotic pain medicines than patients who only occasionally take these medicines. If someone who is not opioid-tolerant uses the drug, the amount of Fentanyl in one patch of the lowest strength is enough to cause dangerous side effects, such as respiratory depression (severe trouble breathing or very slow or shallow breathing) and death.

Approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, Fentanyl is listed as a controlled substance and is considered illegal if possessed by someone without a valid doctor's prescription.

A Fentanyl Transdermal System patch contains the drug in a very strong gel form that is placed directly on the skin of the patient. However, the gel should not be touched by anyone else.

Side effects that can occur with the use of Fentanyl include:

* allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue,

* breathing problems,

* changes in vision,

* confusion,

* feeling faint, lightheaded,

* fever, flu-like symptoms,

* hallucination,

* high or low blood pressure,

* irregular heartbeat,

* problems with balance, talking, walking,

* trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine,

* unusual bleeding or bruising

* unusually weak or tired.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, despite issuing a health advisory emphasizing the safe use of Fentanyl patches in July 2005, reports of overdose, death and life-threatening side effects from misuse of the patches have continued.

Signs of Fentanyl overdose including trouble breathing or slow/shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, severe sleepiness, cold, clammy skin, trouble walking or talking, or feeling faint, dizzy, or confused.

If these signs occur, medical attention should be sought right away.

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isnt this murder, or at least wreckless homicide?

-- Posted by otis66 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 9:43 AM

Also, Lynn's pharmacy stated on the news at noon yesterday, smoking it would be the same as getting 3 days worth of the dose within seconds to minutes, God bless the family of this child.

-- Posted by Soni on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 9:44 AM

The really sad thing is this beautiful young lady lost her life.I thionk it was a horrible tradgedy of teenagers having fun,period

I dont know how the rest of you feel,but her friends,who got arrested tried everything they could to save her,by driving all the way to emergency,That tells me these were all good kids,and they didnt try to just dissappear during the time of need for thier friend,

Thier actions are very commendable in my book,especially in this day and age,I hope the courts will show them the respect due,because I really believe these kids are having a very rough time with there emotions.they done wrong, they attempted to do the right thing,

-- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 11:17 AM

first I feel for all families involved, but didn't I read that these other kids drove around for almost 1 hour and that all had cell phones and NO ONE called 911. Would of it saved her life, I don't know. But it seems to me they did not do every thing they could. Thats just my opinion

-- Posted by t31 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 11:25 AM

They drove around for an hour before taking her to the hospital. She evidently was showing some signs of overdose,if they had acted quicker instead of worrying about themselves they might have saved her life.

Maybe not murder but manslaughter, for whoever stole the patch. These patches are a controlled substance and theft and distribution should be punished.

-- Posted by Take Action on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 11:32 AM

"The really sad thing is this beautiful young lady lost her life.I thionk it was a horrible tradgedy of teenagers having fun,period"

Are you serious? Stealing a controlled substances and smoking it is having fun? Wow, now we know why there are so many problems, this is the way to have "FUN" in peoples eyes.

-- Posted by Take Action on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 11:36 AM

In all probability they didn't think she was going to die, but she did, and maybe she didn't have to, had someone called 911, I don't have any idea what happened, I don't want to speculate, but accountability is necessary in all issues for it to have a positive outcome, but its not really a popular behavior these days, not like CYOA. Hopeful that any other kids doing it will see what a powerful drug it is that shuts down your respiratory system and who knows paramedics may not have been able to save her had they been called, the issue now is accountability and sorrow.

-- Posted by Soni on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 11:41 AM

I personally feel sorry for everyone involved in this matter. Having lost a child, I know that there is nothing in the world that can make Haley Bryan's mother feel whole again. Her heart will not mend, just because they "throw the book" at Jessie Sowers, which is what it looks like they are doing. I know both families and I am praying for them both. I know that Jessie just had his 18th birthday, a couple of weeks ago. So he is just days older then everyone else involved in this matter. Should he be facing decades in prison because he is a couple of months older then the rest? Why do you think they were all together? Because they are all friends. This was a tragic chain of events and a young life is gone. But should the results be to take away more young lives?

-- Posted by gman7799 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 12:55 PM

There has to be consequences. The worst has already happened, and there is no amount of apology that can fix it. It's also the worst punishment.

The government side can only uphold the law and punish those who are still alive. They stole, they abused a controlled substance, they didn't seek immediate medical attention for a person in crisis that lead to her death. The consequences have to be handed out, but the government can't fix the problem.

The only people who can really affect this problem is the parents or guardians in these children's lives. We, as a society, now simply accept bad choices as a passage of youth and excuse it. If children are not taught the difference between right and wrong in their youth, when will they be taught? We adults have to teach, guard, and above all be a good example to our kids. We all make mistakes, but this goes way above that. How many children do we have to lose to reckless driving, drugs, and crime before we wake up and see that character counts? Only the home can teach those lessons. We can't expect our schools and community to reach the hearts of our children; that is the parents job. When a life is lost or locked away it is such tragedy to all involved, and I do grieve for them.

May this tragedy lead to positive action in our families; a great awakening. This is not about tearing anyone down: it's about reality, and cause and effect. Every life has value and every life can drastically affect others.

-- Posted by localgal on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 2:07 PM

Amen, localgal!!

-- Posted by Take Action on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 2:57 PM

The first words that made any sense at all came from localgal.

Such a tragedy, on all sides.

-- Posted by Jolly on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 3:41 PM

I feel bad for everyone involved. i too did some pretty stupid things as a teenager. I'm not making excuses for the kids but I couldn't honestly say as a teen I would've immediately called 911. I'm not 100% sure but I could speculate that this was not any of thems first experience with drugs. I can not see the average teenager just start smoking patches. It is tragic but keep in mind these are all just kids and she too made a choice, unfortunately she made the wrong one. Yes maybe they stole the patches and broke the law, but they are kids. When I was a teenager I became a pro at stealing cigarettes from my parents, I knew how to open them from the bottom so know one would notice them gone. Not every teenager walks the straight and narrow, I sure never. Yes it stinks that someone died over this, but you just hope as a parent that you've taught your child enough to make the right choices when your not with them. I think it's sad not only will the surviving kids live with what happend, they're lives are forever changed. Too bad at such a young age they have already ruined their chances of being successful in our society because now they will all have a label and probably a felony record. So what about the other teens do they get tried as adults? Why should 1 person get the blunt of this when all 4 of them conspired to commit this crime.

-- Posted by ape1 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 4:05 PM

Teenagers will be teenagers - I understand that. But the hour long drive before seeking medical attention is certainly going to reflect negatively on these kids in a trial. I knew them all, and am so sad for everyone involved.

-- Posted by clayoriginal on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 4:41 PM

It's a very sad tragedy no matter how you look at it.

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 6:38 PM

Wow I think someone thinks they are perfect LOCALGAL

-- Posted by kbps_1969 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 7:16 PM

Wow, these people who claim people steal these patches, an outrage, there are so many older and disabled persons who need extra money and they sell these patches for 25 dollars a piece, then when something goes wrong its they stole it. No these boys didn't force it on her but peer pressure is something awful. By not contacting 911 they are indirectly responsible for her death. This is a shame, another senseless death, what is this world coming to??? It truly saddens me. I am not saying this time it was not stolen but how did they know to try and smoke it how did they know where to find them? Last time I checked pharmacy records were private?

-- Posted by bellababy on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 9:32 PM


Far from it and never implied it. We can not keep walking away from our issues and just excuse our problems away. How many more deaths do you need to see? If every generation neglect to guide the next then the acts of every generation will be worse and worse.

I'm mad a life of a beautiful girl is over. I'm mad that the other kids are facing what they are facing. I'm mad that we as adults are not doing our jobs and protecting them.

So if that offends you there is not much I can say. I'm not sorry that I want better for our children. I can't help but believe you want same for your kids and grand-kids.

-- Posted by localgal on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 9:33 PM

I get tired of people saying oh it's just kid stuff they all do it..That is not true, I know plenty of kids that do not smoke, drink or do drugs. It's not a right of passage to do any of these things. It is the fact that education is lacking, parental control is lacking, consequences are lacking ;for anything it seems.

Parents buy their kids cigarettes because they don't want to deal with an argument. Parents supply alcohol to kids if they keep it at home; what kind of message does that send?

Then the kids go out and become involved in more risky behaviors...and then everyone points fingers and wonders what happened! We aren't their friends we are PARENTS.

-- Posted by Take Action on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 11:47 AM

Hey T-REX - Are you smoking something? Those kids did NOT do everything they could to help her. They waited an HOUR to seek help - they were afraid of getting busted and in trouble. They didn't give a damn about their friend. They worried about themselves first - and that cost someone their life. Everyone should be accountable for their actions. They should be punished. Haley sure was.

-- Posted by acw on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 1:15 PM

God bless her and her family, please don't knock the people that can't defend themselves. We as parents can only hope this carnage stay's out of our life with our son. Can we prevent it yes to a point by talking, can we guarantee it NO!!!!!!

Haley punished herself, she had to know it was wrong but she did it. You can not blame others for the action of others.



-- Posted by pepper1 on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 6:18 PM

does this town have anything eles to do but talk aboute everyone one i mean come on

-- Posted by renee1 on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 12:24 PM

I know what they did was wrong, but I'm sure they didn't think hey this stuff will kill me. It is very sad that this had to happen to a young beautiful girl. I think the other kids have suffered the worst possible punishment, maybe not in the eyes of the law but they will live with the guilt for the rest of there life.

Praying for all involved, don't let what people post on here get to you I'm sure no one has stopped and thought "what if my child was one in that car" would you be saying charge him with murder then.

Let's see how many comments I get back now..

-- Posted by lilmomma on Mon, Jan 11, 2010, at 6:07 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to all to her family and the other young people involved. I am sure they did not start this adventure with the intention of losing a friend to death. The sad state of illegal and legal drugs in our country is really out of control. I was diagnosed with liver failure six years ago and put on Fentyl patches and opiate suckers. They just about ruined my and my family's life. It is downright shamefull how many dangerous "legal" drugs are out there right now, while some "illegal" drugs don't even have a 1/10 of the harmful effects. Yes, it's true the kids should not have stolen or bought, whatever the case may be, this drug....but look at how easily accessible it was and is to so many. My hopes are that are govt. will really look at the drug problem in our country and get realistic about the TRUE harmful effects of so many legal and nonlegal drugs. Prayers to everyone involved~

-- Posted by gingersnap13 on Thu, Jan 14, 2010, at 4:21 AM

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