Sedalia woman faces murder charge in man’s overdose

SEDALIA, Mo. | A Sedalia woman accused of giving pills to a man who overdosed has been charged with murder.

Deborah J. Hayes, 53, of the 1400 block of East Third Street, was arrested at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday on a Pettis County warrant on charges of felony delivery of a controlled substance and second-degree murder. She was in Pettis County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Hayes is accused of giving OxyContin pills to Randy Arndt, 36, who died from a drug overdose April 29 at his Sedalia home, according to court documents.

Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mittelhauser said Arndt’s autopsy showed he died from an overdose of oxycodone (found in OxyContin) and alprazolam (found in Xanax). Mittlehauser requested the murder charge under the felony murder doctrine.

“This charge is what is called felony murder,” Mittelhauser said Tuesday. “Any time a person commits a felony and a death directly results from that crime, they are guilty of second-degree murder even if they had no intention whatsoever of causing that person to die.”

It is the first time in Mittelhauser’s 22 years as a prosecutor that he has filed such a murder charge. “(I’ve) never had the situation arise to file” before, he said.

Arndt’s wife had told officers that her husband had traded Xanax pills with Hayes in exchange for OxyContin, according to a probable cause statement written by Sedalia Detective Jill Green.

“Deborah stated Randy had been addicted to pain medicines for a long time,” Green wrote in her statement. “She stated his doctors recently cut him off and stopped prescribing OxyContin to him. She stated since that time Randy has become depressed and moody.”

OxyContin is a prescription painkiller used in association with maladies ranging from injuries to cancer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.