Metro area mom pushing for justice after son’s overdose death, says more needs to be done

ATLANTA — In a Channel 2 Action News exclusive, an Atlanta mom says after her son, a star athlete, died of a fentanyl overdose, she’s hoping her family will be able to get justice.

Angela King, the mother of University of Georgia student Jack O’Kelley, told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that drugs caused the most devastating moment of her family’s lives.

King said her son Jack was a straight-A student and a former captain of the North Atlanta High football team, where he played quarterback, as well as a captain of the lacrosse team.

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In November, he died of a fentanyl overdose. King said she believes he swallowed a counterfeit Xanax pill, not knowing what it contained while home for Thanksgiving break last fall.

“When we found out there was fentanyl in the pill that Jack took, there was a real sense of rage and anger for the inhumanity, the evil,” King said.

Atlanta Police Sgt. Jarius Daugherty told Channel 2 Action News that an Atlanta Police Homicide Detective investigating Jack O’Kelley’s overdose death obtained the victim’s cellphone from his father.

APD then went through the phone and found a conversation where he’d placed an order for what he wanted with someone listed in the phone as AB, allegedly Abram Rincon, and in the ensuing weeks, an undercover officer made buys from Rincon.

Those buys helped APD Narcotics get a search warrant for Rincon’s apartment, which was executed Monday.


APD said investigators seized illegal hallucinogenic mushrooms, pills that look like Xanax, mushroom chocolate bars, tetrahydrocannabinol pens, 4,550 edibles, THC wax, a bottle of promethazine, M30 pills, moon rocks and more than 35 pounds of marijuana.

They also found and seized eight guns, including two shotguns, rifles and two pistols, along with a bulletproof vest.

Rincon’s attorney Jay Abt told Winne by phone that Rincon’s not guilty and “We look forward to our day in court.”

Abt said Rincon has five drug sale counts pending, but drug trafficking and gun charges were dismissed. Rincon was released on a signature bond. Abt said no mention of an overdose death was made at the first appearance where these things happened.

King said her 20-year-old son Jack, whom the family did not know dabbled in drugs, didn’t answer the phone, so his father Mike O’Kelley went over to check on him.

“[he] called me screaming shortly thereafter that Jack wasn’t waking up. He had one of the other boys call 911 and I drove over there and Mike said he’s gone, he’s screaming,” King told Channel 2 Action News.

Atlanta police Narcotics Lt. Robert Albertini said the Xanax-looking pills seized from Rincon’s apartment haven’t been lab tested yet, but they resemble other pills, counterfeit Xanax, that APD has seized in other recent cases which did contain fentanyl.

“I really wanted to thank APD for the tremendous work that [the] Homicide and Narcotics Division, that they’ve done,” King said.

However, King told Winne that she’s outraged Rincon got bond.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said that it is too, that the Magistrate and Prosecutor at the initial appearance did not have all of the warrants in front of them, leading to the dismissal of two serious charges and Rincon not having to post any money to get out on bond, but those charges can still be brought.

Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk said she’s investigating, but it appears the system broke down before Rincon got to court.

The DA’s office said it is still investigating the death aspect of the case. In a similar vein, new legislation proposed in the Georgia General Assembly would create new charges and penalties in cases where someone is given a controlled substance, counterfeit substance or imitation controlled substance. If the person receiving the substances dies, the person who gave it to them could face charges for committing aggravated involuntary manslaughter.

As previously reported by Channel 2 Action News, the bill sets higher penalties for violators of the proposed bill, saying that “someone who commits the offense of aggravated involuntary manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another human being, without the intent to cause the death of said human being, by intentionally manufacturing, delivering, distributing or selling any substance that is, in fact, a controlled substance, counterfeit substance or imitation controlled substance” would face between 10 to 30 years in prison, with a life sentence also on the table, if convicted.

The bill would also keep the crime of aggravated involuntary manslaughter separate from other offenses, instead counting as its own offense at trial or upon arrest.

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