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Georgia Mother fighting for new Law after son dies from overdose. #11alive

Updated: Feb 27

A DeKalb County mother has been advocating for this, as she says she lost her son to an accidental overdose.

Author: Tresia Bowles

Published: 11:55 PM EST February 21, 2024

Updated: 11:55 PM EST February 21, 2024


ATLANTA — Georgia is moving toward increasing penalties for drug dealers.


Wednesday night, the state judiciary committee unanimously passed a bill that a DeKalb County mother was advocating for.


His name is Jack O'Kelley, 20. He was a junior at the University of Georgia.


King is warning others that one night of fun sadly led to the end of his life.


"Just saying don't do drugs obviously doesn't work," King said.


King is a mother of six. When it comes to fentanyl, she knows all too well that one pill can kill. 


"It was the most traumatic, devastating day of our lives," King continued, "And it could have been prevented."


Thanksgiving Eve, King says her son went out with friends. When his family didn't hear from him the next day, they called him. After he didn't answer, King said they showed up to his friend's house, where he was spending the night, but Jack's father, Mike, couldn't wake him up.


"He was already dead," King said. "His fingernails were blue, not breathing."


Since then, she's been trying to take action -- urging state leaders to do something to make sure this doesn't happen to another parent. Wednesday night, her wish came true when the state judicial committee passed a bill that increases penalties for those who maneuver, deliver, distribute, or sell a controlled, counterfeit, or imitation controlled substance.


"This is a great first step," King said. "There's a lot more than needs to be done. "I'm very pleased that this got passed today."


She hopes to get young people's attention before they're exposed to harder drugs.


"I don't know why this is not required for schools to be educating children about drugs and what is out here killing people," King said.


King said while the bill may not bring back her son, the next person who hands out deadly drugs in Georgia will, hopefully, pay for their actions.


"The impact on these drug dealers who are knowingly putting this fentanyl into drugs, and hopefully, that will make a difference," King said.


During the hearing, leaders found out that marijuana, for example, wouldn't be an example of a drug affected by this bill, but dealers whose drugs kill their patrons could face no less than ten and up to more than 30 years for their offenses.


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