2 charged with murder in connection to overdose death

"Working overdose cases is very difficult especially when a victim is deceased," Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes said in a statement.

Cocke County authorities have charged two accused drug dealers from Knoxville with second-degree murder in connection to a drug overdose death.

Sheriff Armando Fontes said Clara Catherine Coe, 22, and Scott Elliott Wardley, 28, both of Knoxville, were arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree murder.

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The two are suspected of selling drugs heroin and methamphetamine to Ashlen Moore, of Cosby, on Jan. 23.

The sheriff said officers responded to Moore's home on Jan. 24 for a drug overdose call. When officers arrived, they found Moore dead, and his girlfriend Erica Paulsell, 21, "experiencing medical issues associated with drug use."

Paulsell was taken to Newport Medical Center for treatment.

Fontes said investigators learned Moore has purchased the drugs from Coe and Wardley. The two are each being held on a $250,000 bond.

In a statement, Fontes said "working overdose cases is very difficult especially when a victim is deceased."

"I want the general public to know that your sheriff's office takes all drug related issues seriously and we will continue to work to prosecute individuals dealing and selling illegal drugs especially when it results in the death of another," the sheriff said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. To all drug dealers get a job, stop victimizing addicts, make an honest living, and stop disrupting families across the great state of Tennessee."