Putnam woman arrested on murder charge in overdose death

The Putnam County Sheriff's Department says Joney S. Farley of Hurricane was arrested Thursday on a murder charge in an overdose death. (Putnam County Sheriff's Office)

A Putnam County woman confesses to injecting a man with heroin that eventually caused his death. Joney Farley is now charged with first degree murder. The victim Jeffrey Burdette overdosed in March.

According to the criminal complaint , the overdose happened in March a home on North Poplar Fork Road in Teays Valley. The suspect Joney Farley told investigators she injected the victim Jeffrey Burdette with heroin. Several minutes later she said Burdette asked for another injection. He then became unresponsive and Farley said she drove him to the hospital where he died.

"They didn't shoot them with a gun. Didn't stab him with a knife, but they did inject with an heroin opiate that ultimately caused the death," said Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese.

"I already have an appellate lawyer," said Joney Farley during her video arraignment. She's charged with first degree murder. Putnam County Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia says under the felony murder statute, people involved in certain crimes can still be charged with murder even if they didn't mean to harm the individual. Dealing drugs is one of those crimes.

Imogene Burdette, Jeffrey's mother tells us the family is still dealing with the shock of the death, saying Jeffrey would do anything for anybody. Sheriff Deweese says a phone call from Mrs. Burdette helped investigators determine there was something more to this case.

"She gave us a timeline of when her son was visiting the accused, last seen with this person. The mother was aware the suspect needed a ride to Huntington that was the last time she seen her son,' said Sheriff Deweese.

He hopes this case leaves an impression. "Now to see this hopefully the drug distributors, the suppliers and ultimately the users are paying attention to this and saying hey I need to get some help," said Sheriff Deweese.

Sheriff Deweese says the heroin that killed Burdette was purchased in Huntington from a dealer. He says for now there are no plans to charge that dealer.


A Hurricane woman has been arrested on a murder charge in an overdose death after she told investigators she injected a man twice with heroin and he lost consciousness, court records said.

Joney S. Farley of Hurricane was arrested Thursday by the narcotics and special enforcement units of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department on a first-degree murder charge related to the March 19 drug overdose death of Jeffrey Burdette, according to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court.

Investigators said Farley told them Burdette was at a residence she was staying at in the 2400 block of North Poplar Fork Road in Hurricane on the day of his overdose. She said Burdette gave her and two other people a ride to Huntington to buy heroin. Farley, Burdette and the two other people then traveled back to the residence on North Poplar Fork Road, where she mixed the heroin with water and drew it into a needle, the complaint said.

Farley said she injected Burdette with the heroin, and after several minutes Burdette asked for another shot of heroin, the complaint said. Investigators said Farley told them she mixed more heroin with water, drew it into a needle and injected Burdette again. After several minutes, Burdette lost consciousness and stopped breathing. Farley said she drove Burdette to Charleston Area Medical Center Teays Valley Hospital.

Burdette was in the hospital on March 15 and remained there for several days until his death.

Farley was video arraigned on the murder charge. She is being held at the West Virginia Regional Jail without bond.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off