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Berkeley County grand jury indicts woman accused of selling lethal dose of heroin

Autumn T. Blaine was initially charged with one count of felony murder in the overdose death of Paul Dwayne Burcham

October 18, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Autumn T. Blaine
Autumn T. Blaine

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A woman accused of selling a lethal dose of heroin to a man who died in March at her home was indicted by a Berkeley County grand jury Thursday on single counts of felony murder and delivery of heroin.

The state’s case against Autumn T. Blaine, 37, of 176 Phillips Lane in Bunker Hill, W.Va., had been pending in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Blaine, who is incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, was initially charged with one count of felony murder in the overdose death of Paul Dwayne Burcham, 32, also of Bunker Hill, according to court documents.

Burcham was found slumped over the toilet in the master bedroom of Blaine’s home by authorities on the afternoon of March 29, police have said.

Burcham’s cause of death was determined to be due to “a large amount of morphine (heroin) in the victim’s blood, along with other nonprescribed narcotics,” according to a complaint filed in magistrate court by West Virginia State Police Trooper Z.L. Nine.

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Upon finding Burcham in the bathroom, police also found one needle with a bloody tissue and a $20 bill on the sink, along with numerous hypodermic needles and several large spoons, court records stated.

A small amount of heroin was found on a small shelf above the toilet, according to court documents.

Blaine told police she was the only person at her home when Burcham arrived and went straight to the bathroom, documents state.

In another case now pending in circuit court, Blaine was indicted in February on single counts of uttering, conspiracy to commit uttering, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and petit larceny, according to court records. Those charges stem from a reported home invasion-style robbery at 1075 Sam Mason Road in October 2011, according to court documents.

Burcham, a resident there at that time, was interviewed about that incident, documents state.
Blaine was arrested Aug. 7 in connection with Burcham’s death.

An indictment merely indicates that an individual is believed to have committed the crime.

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