Apex man charged with murder in suspected drug overdose
Posted February 4, 2015
Apex, N.C. — An Apex man faces a second-degree murder charge after a man died Monday from a suspected heroin overdose.
William Tyler Mayhew, 23, of 1100 Purple Glory Drive, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of Eric William Darden, who died Monday.
According to search warrants, Darden, 23, was taken to a local hospital Sunday for a heroin overdose and released on Monday. Shortly after 7 p.m. the same day, someone called 911 reporting that Darden was unconscious at his home.
Search warrants also indicate that a man at the hospital with Darden told police Sunday that the two were doing heroin that Mayhew had sold them. Police found text messages between the two discussing an amount worth $150, according to the warrants.
During Mayhew's first court appearance Monday afternoon, prosecutors said another man is in a coma related to drugs Mayhew allegedly provided for him on Sunday.
"We have reason to believe there are potentially two victims and certainly one who is deceased as the result of the actions of Mr. Mayhew," Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said.
A warrant to search Mayhew's home alleges that Darden told someone via text message that "the same heroin made someone else overdose the night before."
The warrant also says that police had received "several anonymous complaints" dating from early August to Jan. 1 that Mayhew allegedly had been selling heroin, prescription drugs and marijuana from the home he shares with his father and stepmother.
Darden worked at a Harris Teeter and studied at Wake Technical Community College.
His family had no comment Wednesday, but the mother of a close friend of Darden said she was stunned to learn of his death.
"I'm so mad. He's not that guy. He's not that kid. I did watch these kids grow up here in Apex. They were not bad kids," said Jean Travers.
Mayhew was initially charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutors said during his first court appearance that they intend to pursue the second-degree murder charge.
A judge set bond at $500,000.
Mayhew's father, Bill Mayhew, said the family is very upset about what happened.
"I'm very concerned. I'm very sorry the boy died," he said. "My condolences go out to the family. I don't know the circumstances of what happened. I'm in shock."
According to court records, Mayhew was convicted April 28 of driving while impaired, hit-and-run and injury to real property in connection with a Nov. 6, 2013, wreck in which his pickup truck hit a transformer and then crashed into the living room of an Apex home.
He spent time in prison and was released in December.