TX: Weatherford teen bought blue pills on social media. He died days later, warrant says

Star-Telegram News –

In November, Colby Reeder-Knotts advertised on Snapchat a bag of blue pills for sale, authorities said.

Those pills were “perc30,” the slang name for blue, circular oxycodone hydrochloride pills with M30 imprints on them, which were commonly represented to be Percocet, a brand of oxycodone, according to a warrant.

Nineteen-year-old Ethan Hathaway bought some of the pills on Nov. 15, and days later, the teen was found dead on his bed at his Weatherford home.

Officials with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office would later rule that Hathaway died from “acute fentanyl intoxication with aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the warrant obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

Weatherford detectives believe Hathaway took the “perc30” laced with fentanyl, which killed the Parker County teen. Police have said that in many overdose cases that recently have been investigated in North Texas, users have told investigators that they didn’t know they were taking pills that contained fentanyl.

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the United States are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect, CDC officials said.

In January, Reeder-Knotts, 19, was arrested in the case and later charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance causing death or serious bodily injury.

His trial is pending.

“Like any American accused of a crime, Mr. Reeder-Knotts is presumed innocent of these charges,” said his attorney, Robert S. DuBoise of Fort Worth, in a Thursday email to the Star-Telegram. “He asks that people withhold passing judgment before any of the allegations made by the government are tested in a court of law. When that does occur, Mr. Reeder-Knotts is confident that he will be exonerated.”

The warrant written by Weatherford Detective Tiffany Vanzant gave this brief account of the incident:

A screenshot of Reeder-Knotts’ Venmo account showed Hathaway paid him with the caption, “Fun,” and an icon that read, “Good times.” on Nov. 15, 2020.

Hours later, Hathaway was at a friend’s Arlington apartment on the night of Nov. 15, showing off a bag with round, blue pills.

On the night of Nov. 18, Hathaway was found dead at his Weatherford home. At the scene, detectives saw a green straw that had been cut next to a powdery residue on a computer desk. Police later found a small bag with powdery residue in Hathaway’s laundry hamper.

Detectives believe the bag had small tears on the outside, which was consistent with a person crushing a pill in the bag.

On Nov. 30, Weatherford detectives investigated another death in the city linked to Percocet pills.

Weatherford street crime investigators conducted a traffic stop on Reeder-Knotts and another person on Dec. 1. Both were found to have marijuana, Xanax pills and acetaminophen with Codeine pills.

A half of a blue pill later identified as Percocet was found in the suspect’s pants.

Detectives armed with a warrant searched Reeder-Knotts and the suspect’s apartment, locating about 15 blue pills with M30 stamped on them.

Weeks later, Reeder-Knotts was arrested in connection with Hathaway’s overdose death.

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