Woman charged with murder in drug death

COVINGTON -- A Newton County woman has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 31-year-old woman in May, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Jennifer Lynn Phelps, 39, of 573 Richards Chapel Road, was arrested Friday following an investigation that spanned several months and two counties.

According to NCSO spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver, Kristin Deanna Williams, 31, of 1835 Access Road, Apt. A, died on May 28, following an apparent overdose of prescription drugs.

"The suspect allegedly gave the victim some of her medication while in the car en route to Rockdale County," Oliver said. "She had agreed to take Ms. Williams so they could buy some pain medication, but when Phelps got to her house to pick up Ms. Williams, she appeared to already be under the influence of something. She then agreed to give the victim some of what she had been taking."

Oliver said Rockdale County authorities initially had the case, but in the course of their investigation they discovered the prescription drugs were actually taken while the two women were in Newton County. They traveled to Rockdale County where the woman died, he said.

"They were in the Highway 138 and Sigman Road area and noticed the victim was unresponsive. They went to a relative's house ... and tried lifesaving measures, but were unsuccessful," Oliver said.