A suspect was charged with murder following the overdose death of a veteran in Shawnee.
On Monday Tynan Walton, 23, was charged with first-degree murder by distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.
On December 7, 2018, first responders were dispatched to a home in the 1200 block of Whittaker Street in Shawnee.
Joshua Lytle, 33, was found unresponsive in the bathroom of the home after overdosing on heroin.
Lytle was revived and taken to an Oklahoma City hospital where he later died on December 14, 2018.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Lytle’s probable cause of death was an anoxic brain injury, due to “a probable acute opioid (heroin) toxicity.”
Several law enforcement agencies have been involved in the investigation after recently receiving a tip from a concerned citizen that something ‘seemed off’ about Lytle’s death. Included in the investigation were special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Oklahoma office.
Shirley Adamson, Lytle’s mother, called 911, according to court records.
Adamson said her son was proud to be in the service.
“He got hurt in Iraq, his back,” said Adamson. “When he got back here, the VA (Veterans Affairs) were just giving him pain meds, pain meds, and script after script. It got to where it really wasn’t helping him.”
Adamson said she found her son in the bathroom, unresponsive.
“I opened the door, and he was gone,” said Adamson. He was on his knees and his head. He was gone.”
Court records reveal Walton warned Lytle that two people already overdosed on the drug that he still continued to sell and warned Lytle to “only use a quarter of what you normally use.”
Investigators said those two who overdosed, survived.
According to court documents, Walton sold Lytle the heroin for $80.
The drug was later identified as a type of heroin known as “china white.”
“It’s a white heroin. It looks very similar to a cocaine,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent, John Scott. “The potency is not much different than some of the other heroin. But in this specific case, the people that we were talking to did relay to us that this particular china white heroin was extremely potent.”
Scott said cases like this are becoming far too common in Oklahoma.
“I can’t stress enough to the public, unless you’re getting a pill prescribed to you by your doctor and you’re picking it up from your pharmacist, that is the only way you need to be ingesting any pills.”
Adamson knows an arrest won’t bring her son home. But what it does bring, is some peace to get by in life each day.
“There hasn’t been a day go by that I haven’t cried for my son. I’m glad that he is going to get what he deserves,” said Adamson.
DEA officials said if you hear an overdose or suspect one, contact them immediately. They said these cases are investigated and taken very seriously.