Two people are facing felony charges in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in May in the parking lot of Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
Sgt. Kevin Holbrook with the Gainesville Police Department said Friday investigators first believed Christopher Michael Wethington, 28, died of an overdose in his vehicle at the hospital.
"The way that the body was found, the location, some other things surrounding the case appeared to be suspicious, and upon further investigation it was revealed that Wethington had died at another location and was transported to the parking lot," Holbrook said.
Holbrook said the investigation led detectives to Jessica Lynn Jarrard, 30, of Alto and Cameron Eugene Sherman, 31, of Gainesville.
"We were able to determine that they were responsible for tampering with evidence and relocating the body," Holbrook said.
Both Jarrard and Sherman were arrested without incident, according to Holbrook. He said the Habersham County Sheriff's Office and ARDEO assisted the Gainesville Police Department with the investigation. Holbrook said he was unsure how the suspects and the victim knew each other.
In a press statement, Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said the situation should serve as a reminder of why 2014 Georgia passed the 911 Medical Amnesty Law in 2014. The law provides limited immunity from arrest, charge and prosecution for possession of certain drugs and drug paraphernalia for individuals who experience a drug overdose. The law expanded the access of naloxone to trained first responders, including law enforcement.
"Had these individuals contacted 911, this would have been a very different [outcome]," Holbrook said. "Whoever had responded possibly could have even saved Wethington. We do carry naloxone within our vehicles and the law does provide limited immunity from arrest. We're not going to charge or prosecute for possession of certain drugs or paraphernalia for those who are with individuals who do have an overdose. It's best to just call 911."