Before his sentencing, Anthony "A.J." Hunt apologized to the family of Rachel Bandman in court Tuesday
An alleged drug dealer who gave a lethal amount of drugs to a depressed 19-year-old sorority sister who later fatally overdosed will spend the next 24 years in a South Carolina prison as part of a plea deal approved Tuesday.
According to reports, Anthony “A.J.” Hunt, 27, was sentenced after pleading guilty to the distribution of oxycodone resulting in death for his role in causing the death of Rachel Bandman, a public relations major at the University of South Carolina.
Bandman’s roommate found her dead in January 2016 after she had overdosed on Oxycodone, a powerful narcotic prescription drug. There had been no signs of physical trauma or forced entry into her room.
The Washington Post reports that Hunt turned a profit selling Bandman the painkillers and anxiety meds she used to end her life, and even advised her on how to take a fatal dose.
Hunt was sentenced to 24 years and five months in prison, according to WYFF.
Prosecutors contended Hunt did nothing to deter Bandman from taking the actions she did, but his public defender, Katherine Evatt, reads several text messages her client had sent to Bandman, discouraging her from hurting herself.
“I don’t want you to hurt yourself (and) I don’t want you to hurt yourself because of me,” Evatt read, noting Bandman has previously attempted suicide.
Evatt also read from Bandman’s suicide letter, which praises Hunt as “the only person who believed in me.”
Evatt said Bandman had tried to kill herself before.
In court Tuesday, Hunt fought back tears as he apologized to her family, reports the State.
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The death of Bandman, a Chi Omega sorority sister from Virginia, was at first classified as a suicide. She was found dead on Jan. 28, 2016 in her student apartment building in Columbia.
According to prosecutors, Hunt ran a booming drug business. At the time of his arrest in March 2017, cops recovered $10,000 in cash as well as a .45 caliber pistol from his house.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.