NC man pleads guilty in young woman’s fentanyl-related death

North Carolina news

Kauffmann in a photo from Iredell County District Attorney Sarah Kirkman

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) – A drug dealer charged in a 2017 Mooresville woman’s death has pleaded guilty, police say.

Police say they found 22-year-old Alexandria Leigh McNeely dead inside a car in a parking lot on Brawley School Road on Dec. 3, 2017.

McNeely had purchased drugs containing fentanyl from Justin Wayne Kauffman, police say.

Kauffman was charged in April 2018 with second-degree murder in McNeely’s death. Kauffman pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to involuntary manslaughter, selling schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance and manufacturing/selling delivering/possessing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Facebook photo of Alexandria Leigh McNeely (right).

“The arrest and subsequent prosecution of Justin Kauffman sent the message to our community that we will not tolerate people illegally selling and providing these dangerous opioids, such as fentanyl, which continue to destroy lives,” said Iredell County District Attorney Sarah Kirkman.

Kauffman received an 87-145 month active prison sentence. McNeely was found dead in her car, according to Kirkman.

According to her obituary, McNeely attended East Carolina University and was a server at Chili’s in Mooresville.

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