Lauderdale Co. inmate indicted for supplying fentanyl to another inmate

Russell Lyn Reatherford
Russell Lyn Reatherford(Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:24 AM CDT
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LAUDERDALE Co., Ala. (WAFF) - A Sheffield man was arrested Monday for allegedly supplying a Lauderdale County inmate with a lethal amount of fentanyl.

Harley Coyer, an inmate in the Lauderdale County Jail, died on Feb. 14 from an overdose of fentanyl. The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office indicted Russell Reatherford Monday for allegedly supplying Coyer with the drugs.

A Lauderdale County grand jury indicted Reatherford for felony murder, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband. Investigators with the sheriff’s office presented evidence including a toxicology report to the grand jury.

According to an official with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, Reatherford was already an inmate at the time and remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center. At the time of Coyer’s death, Reatherford was sharing a cell with him. Reatherford was arrested on warrants the day before Coyer’s death.

A second inmate who was in the cell with Coyer was taken to the hospital the same day as Coyer’s death.

The Lauderdale County Coroner was notified and pronounced the inmate dead.

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