Oklahoma Man Charged with First-Degree Felony Murder in Fentanyl Overdose Death

OKLAHOMA CITY – Feb.15,2022, Attorney General John O’Connor filed first-degree felony murder charges against Joshua Josiah Toliver, 23, after an investigation found the drugs he sold to an Oklahoma County man were the cause of his death. 

According to court documents, Toliver is accused of selling fake oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl to Cole Stamps, 27, in September 2021.

A medical examiner determined the probable cause of death was “Acute Fentanyl Toxicity,” and found 14 ng/mL of fentanyl in Stamps’ blood.

“Fentanyl is incredibly dangerous because it is deadly in very small amounts,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “My office, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to go after those who try to profit from peddling these illicit drugs to Oklahomans. My deepest condolences go to the victim’s family and loved ones.”

During the investigation, authorities seized more pills that tested positive for fentanyl and a loaded semi-automatic pistol in Toliver’s residence.

Toliver is also charged with Trafficking of Fentanyl, Aggravated Trafficking of Fentanyl, and the Use of a Communication Device to Facilitate the Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

According to court records, Toliver has previous arrests for Distribution of a Controlled Substance (2020), DUI (2020), Possession of a Controlled Substance (2020), Carrying a Firearm with Possession of a Controlled Substance (2020), and received a seven-year deferred sentence in July of 2021.

Under Oklahoma law, a person commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being, if the death of a human results from the unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substance or synthetic controlled substance.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.