Justice for Justin
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In the early hours of Thursday June 29th, 2017 Justin Phelps was pronounced dead at his home in West Warwick, RI of an accidental drug overdose. Although Justin did not make it, he was not alone. Justin's former fiancee', Natasha, would remain in the household until morning. Under the "Good Samaritan Act", Natasha could have contacted emergency services getting Justin the help needed to save his life while also freeing her of any and all responsibility of his overdose. Instead of saving his life, she proceeded to get high and "go to sleep." After investigation the police determined that Natasha had stayed with Justin's deceased body for a duration of at least 8 hours. Officers on scene stated that she was not at fault and allowed her to leave.
Justin's sister Ashley, who resides in the adjoining condo had started attempting to contact her brother Wednesday evening as early as 6 pm, both his and Natasha's phones would only repeatedly send her to voicemail. There were approximately 28 calls that would be ignored by Natasha that evening, Ashley never spoke to her brother again. Sensing something was amiss, she went next door. Knocking loudly, trying to gain entry into the house, she only found herself locked out. Several other friends of Justin had also tried to contact him; all ignored by Natasha.
For more than half of my life the Phelps family has been my family, despite having our occasional differences like families often do. I love them and it breaks my heart to see them going through this. It hurts to breathe when I realize that I'm not going to just wake up from this, that I'll never see Justin again.
We will never see Justin again.
This could have easily been prevented had Natasha simply answered a phone or unlocked a door. Two weeks prior to this incident; Justin had overdosed, rescue was called by Ashley and Justin was revived using narcan. Natasha was furious with Ashley for contacting and "involving" the police, even though it saved his life.
During the investigation Thursday morning while questioning Natasha she told the police that she had been asleep. She went on to give them her phone with a newly deleted call log and an old phone that she claimed to be Justin's; having no missed calls. Ashley quickly pointed out that this was not her brother's phone and provided evidence of the ignored calls on her cellphone but the officers dismissed it.
I know that nothing can bring Justin back to us. What I cannot accept is that fact that Natasha walked away from this. Why do we have the Good Samaritan Act if there is no penalty imposed if it's neglected? Especially when the neglect results in death? The fact is that Justin could be alive right now and the only reason he is not is because his girlfriend did not want to involve police. This is not right and what I'm asking for is simply this; Justice for Justin. I would like to see Natasha held at least partially accountable for her actions, or in this case her lack thereof. Perhaps if it was made a punishable crime to neglect the GSA, unfortunate events such as this could be avoided in the future. I cannot even fathom the pain and suffering his family is enduring at this time and it is sincerely my belief that no one should ever have to.
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