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'They didn't deserve an early death' | Teenage brothers die of suspected overdoses

The 9th District Attorney General said his office is hoping to bring 2nd degree murder charges against the person who supplied the deadly drugs.

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Prosecutors hope to bring murder charges against the person responsible for selling the drugs that killed two teenage brothers in Harriman Monday night. 

Friends identified the victims as Jared Crass, 19, and his 17-year-old brother Javen, who attended Rockwood High School. 

"They were just trying to have fun one night, someone said it was good, they tried it and they died," said Ethan Hughett, 19, who explained Jared Crass was his "best friend" ever since they met in class at Harriman High School.

Hughett said he was with the pair Monday night before their bodies were discovered the next morning in their family home on Circle Lane near Caney Creek Road in Roane County. 

Hughett said someone sold them a 'laced pill.' Ninth District Attorney General Russell Johnson said investigators found a variety of drugs in the bedroom where the pair died. 

"We’re trying to treat this case like any of these other drug overdose cases and try to get to where we can get to second degree murder charges for the people responsible or person responsible for supplying the drugs to these two boys," Johnson said, calling the potential charges a "cold comfort" to the Crass family. 

He said he was particularly concerned about a recent rise in overdose deaths and drug use in Roane County, especially among teenagers.

"These are life and death consequences and it is not worth it to do it to yourself or your family," Johnson said.

Credit: Harriman High School Yearbook 2017
A 2017 photo of Jared Crass from his freshman yearbook at Harriman High School.

Jared Crass studied computer programming at Roane State Community College, loved music, PC gaming and his Ford Mustang, Hughett said. 

"He was the best friend I could ever ask for. Them two didn’t deserve an early death. Jared being so young, he had a whole life ahead of him — and so did Javen," he said. 

Hughett said he cooperated with the police investigation.

"I told them what I knew, 100 percent honest. I told them what I knew because whoever gave them that deserves to be punished," he said. 

Attempts to reach the Crass family were unsuccessful Wednesday. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, resources are available to help. Find a list of providers in East Tennessee here.

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