Oklahoma Couple Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Child’s Fentanyl Overdose Death
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – DEA Special Agent in Charge, Eduardo A. Chávez announced Attorney General John O’Connor filed charges in Oklahoma County against a couple in the death of their 6-year-old son.
Harold Belton, 47, and Grashaunda Brooks, 44, are each charged with one count of second-degree murder.
Investigators note that, on October 4, 2021, Belton took his son to the emergency room around 5:45 a.m. According to medical staff notes, the boy did not have a pulse when he arrived. Staff believed the boy had been deceased an hour or more, based on his body temperature at admission.
Belton told Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) detectives that, the night before, his son had stated that he did not feel well. Belton told detectives he got in bed with the boy, dozed off, and woke up around 2-3:00 a.m. because he felt something wet on his shoulder. Belton said the boy was unresponsive, had mucus coming out of his nose and mouth, and when he tried to pick him up, the boy’s head just drooped over.
A medical examiner said the probable cause of death was “Toxic Effects of Fentanyl” after finding 27 ng/mL of fentanyl in the 6-year-old’s blood.
After serving a search warrant, OCPD officers and detectives reported finding three blue tablets in a plastic pill bottle labeled for Brooks, the victim’s mother, hidden inside of a barbecue grill. The tablets were tested by the OCPD Lab and were determined to contain fentanyl. According to investigators, the tablets were counterfeited to mimic pharmaceutical oxycodone 30mg tablets.
In April of 2022, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were alerted of the death and began assisting OCPD with the investigation. Agents determined that Brooks currently, and at least for the year prior to her son’s death, had been prescribed oxycodone tablets but did not have a prescription for fentanyl.
“I am very saddened by the tragic death of this 6-year-old boy,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “Fentanyl can be a deadly poison. Illegal fentanyl is affecting not only addicts, but the young and innocent as well. Simply put, these counterfeit pills kill people and destroy families. I appreciate the Oklahoma City Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration for working with my office to ensure that those who illegally possess and sell fentanyl within our community are held accountable. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect all Oklahomans and prosecute those who violate the law.”
"Fentanyl overdoses killed 107,622 nationwide in 2021. While every life is priceless, the loss of a young child to this poison is sickening,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge, Eduardo A. Chávez. “DEA Oklahoma’s partnerships with the State of Oklahoma and local law enforcement agencies is key to holding all individuals and in this case, this child’s parents, ultimately responsible. We will continue our work to make Oklahoma a safer.