Prescription Drug Death Leads to Murder Charge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Ste. Genevieve, MO

Prescription Drug Death Leads to Murder Charge

Prescription Drug Death Leads to Murder Charge
By: Wes Wallace

STE. GENEVIEVE CO., MO -- On April 22, 2005, 17-year old Clinton Lee was found dead in a bedroom inside his Ste. Genevieve County home. An autopsy would later reveal Lee died from a toxic overdose of methadone. Four months later, investigators finally pieced together a puzzle that has Lee's uncle, 47-year old Kenneth Holt charged with murder.

"It's unusual for a 17-year old to have that type of drug," explains Detective Sergeant Michael Stacy, "Methadone is really an unusual drug to find."

That's because it's given to drug abusers to fight their addiction. Methadone is used instead of powerful prescription painkillers, and serves to help curb withdrawal symptoms.

It just so happens Kenneth Holt has a prescription for methadone, and investigators say Holt admits to giving Clinton Lee five pills the day before he died.

"This is a case that would have gone through the cracks if somebody hadn't taken the extra step," says Ste Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer, "Methadone seemed to be something different and that gave Detective Stacy something to look at and question a little more."

That's exactly why Stacy said he knew this wasn't just another drug overdose case, "It was a bigger thing, I just wanted more. Clinton Lee had a right for the truth to be known."

The investigation led prosecutors to charge Kenneth Holt with second degree murder and first degree involuntary manslaughter.

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