Dealer pleads guilty to second degree murder from 2016

Jarred Eddington was sentenced to a minimum of 94 months in prison, with a maximum of 125 months, for the 2016 murder of Jason Westberry Sapp, IV.

A drug dealer pleaded guilty to felony second degree murder on Tuesday after selling drugs to a man, who died from an overdose, in 2016.

Jarred Eddington was sentenced to a minimum of 94 months in prison, with a maximum of 125 months, for the 2016 murder of Jason Westberry Sapp, IV.

On April 7, 2016, shortly after 8:00 a.m., Onslow County EMS responded to a call for assistance at a Riva Ridge home in Sneads Ferry. Upon arrival, they found Sapp, known to his family and friends as Wes, dead from an apparent drug overdose.

Caitlin Brown, Wes' girlfriend at the time, told officials that she and Wes went to bed the night before and it seemed like nothing was wrong. She woke up the next morning to the sound of Wes' phone vibrating and found him in distress. Brown got the couple's roommates, Clifford Sorrell and Jessica Scialabba, to come help and called 911.

The phone call that woke Brown up was from Wes' mother, trying to let Wes know that his friend Matt Eyster died from an overdose the day before.

An autopsy performed on Wes' body revealed that the cause of death was multiple toxicity. According to the pathologist, Wes would not have died but for a lethal dose of Fentanyl that was present in his system at the time of his death. When deputies searched Wes' room, they found several items consistent with drug use, including a rolled up dollar bill with Fentanyl residue.

Brown told investigators that she picked up Wes from work at around 10:15 p.m. the night before his overdose. Wes then wanted to see a person named B. Brown drove Wes to a residence in the Sneads Ferry area, where she stopped the car and Wes got out. She then saw Eddington, who she recognized from high school, and Wes approached him. Brown claims the two spoke for about 10 minutes and then she drove Wes back to their home. When they got home, Wes snorted what she thought was a Percocet pill and they later went to bed.

Brown showed deputies where she took Wes the night before his overdose and where she witnessed his exchange with Eddington. Deputies determined that a camper where Eddington lived with his girlfriend, Rachel Tatom, was located near that location. On April 8, 2017, the day after Wes' overdose, deputies searched Eddington's residence. They then discovered a plastic bag hidden in a vase that contained Fentanyl.

Eddington was interviewed and at first denied providing any drugs to anyone. They determined that Eddington had used Tatom's phone during the early morning hours of April 7, the day of Wes' overdose. Text messages between Wes and Eddington showed they discussed the amount of "the product" being smaller than bargained for. Eddington eventually provided deputies with more information.

The drugs came from a person named "B," Eddington said. B would frequently stay at Eddington's residence, as he would take B around Sneads Ferry delivering drugs. B would pay Eddington for his services in either cash or product. Wes and Matt Eyster, the friend who Wes' mother was calling about the morning of Wes' overdose, were regular customers.

B stayed with Eddington the night before Wes' death and spent the night with him. Eddington learned of Wes' death from a phone call from a female customer of B's. Upon hearing the news, B said "that's a wrap" and left town. Eddington has not seen B since.

Tatom told deputies that B arrived at Eddington's camper on either April 5, 2016 or April 6, 2016. B provided what Tatom believed to be heroin to her and Eddington. She said that she snorted the drugs, but found them to be different from other heroin she had snorted before. She said there was a chemical taste and the high was powerful, but didn't last as long.

Tatom said Eddington left the camper and returned saying he had delivered heroin for B. She said she remembered hearing about a conversation between Wes and Eddington regarding a problem with the heroin that Eddington delivered to Wes.

Jason "Wes" Westberry Sapp, IV was 21 at the time of his death. He is survived by his parents and this three sisters. He was his father’s only son. He graduated from Dixon High School in 2012, where he was a wrestler. He also attended ECU on an athletic scholarship, but left the school to return to Sneads Ferry, where he worked in a restaurant. His intent was to serve in the armed forces before his death, officials said.

Jason Westberry Sapp, III and Vanessa Sapp, Wes' parents, were present in court. Eddington was represented by Attorney Brett Wentz. Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Maultsby was the assigned prosecutor. Judge Will Bland presided over Onslow County Superior Court during sentencing.

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