Fentanyl overdose murder case is first of its kind in Tallahassee

Kurstin Hinson is first in Tallahassee to be charged with fentanyl-linked murder.
According to the press release, more than “40 pressed fentanyl pills were discovered at the...
According to the press release, more than “40 pressed fentanyl pills were discovered at the residence.” Kurstin Hinson later admitted to selling drugs to the victim.(Leon County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man is now among a growing list of accused drug dealers who are charged with murder in connection with deadly fentanyl overdoses.

A grand jury indicted Kurstin Hinson last week on first degree murder charges in the death of 18-year-old Megan Hoffman.

Prosecutors call it a first in Leon County.

“This is the first case of its kind in our office involving a fentanyl related death,” prosecutor Jon Fuchs said.

Florida’s murder statues now include fentanyl when it is illegally distributed and “when such substance or mixture is proven to be the proximate cause of death of the user.”  That change was passed by the legislature and signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2017.

Indictments have been issued in similar overdose cases in Duval County and West Palm Beach, among others, and some fentanyl dealers have been prosecuted federally, including a South Florida man who was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this summer.

“With the incredible increase in fentanyl related deaths, we feel very fortunate to have the ability to seek justice for Megan when so many families never know,” Hoffman’s mother, Jennifer Hoffman, said in a Tallahassee Police Department statement released Friday.

Hoffman’s body was found in an apartment at the Forum on West Tennessee Street back on New Year’s Day 2021, court records say. Officers reported finding pills, white powder and a straw nearby.

Tallahassee Police investigators used Hoffman’s phone to track text messages with Hinson earlier that night, court records show.  Arrest papers say officers were able to verify a $70 CashApp payment to Hinson as well.

Hinson was arrested and accused of drug trafficking a few weeks later.  Those charges are still pending.

WCTV asked why murder charges were brought more than 18 months later.

“Overdose cases are very complicated,” Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs said.  Fuchs said they’ve continued to investigate over the past year as they’ve awaited and reviewed autopsy reports, lab reports, cell phone records, bank records and more.

Court records show Hinson went before a judge Friday morning on the first-degree murder charge and was appointed a public defender.   We have reached out to the public defender’s office for comment.

We have reached out to Hinson’s lawyer in the drug trafficking case for comment as well.

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