Man faces murder charge for giving wife fatal heroin overdose

Correction: Due to incorrect information provided to WTOP, a previous version of this story should have not have said that Ashley Moore died on her daughter’s birthday nor that she had two daughters. She had a daughter and a son. The daughter celebrated a birthday a few days before Moore’s death. A corrected story is below.

MASSAPONAX, Va. — A Spotsylvania County man is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of his wife from a heroin overdose in February — the 11th fatal overdose the county has reported in a little more than a year.

Detectives with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office were called to the couple’s home in the 11300 block of Pine Needle Court in the early morning hours of Feb. 26 for a report of a heroin overdose.

The Sheriff’s Office says 39-year-old William Moore has admitted that he and his wife, 28-year-old, Ashley Moore used heroin daily and that he had given her a lethal dose that night. He also admitting to buying and selling heroin.

Moore has since been charged with felony murder, two counts of child endangerment, possession of heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin. He was being held without bail at the Rappahannock Regional Jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

When detectives arrived to the couple’s home, they found the two young children, a boy and a girl, and several pieces of drug paraphernalia inside the home.

“It was completely out in the open for these children to see, watch and touch,” Lieutenant Liz Scott told WTOP. “These children grew up in this environment and were very knowledgeable about what their parents do on a daily basis, several times a day.”

One of the children had celebrated her birthday just a few days earlier, according to an email their grandmother sent to WTOP.

“The two detectives that worked that case took time out of their own time to go provide some birthday gifts for the little girl,” Scott said. One these heartbroken detectives had three decades of service. “It was so tragic, it was so terrible” that the girl lost her mother due to drug addiction.

The two children were not physically harmed in the incident and are now with other family members.

One of the children “was of an age where she knew a lot of information that a child of her age should not have known about needles and syringes and sores on her parent’s body,” said Scott. “No child should have to know about that stuff.”

Since January 2015, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says it has investigated 42 heroin overdoses — 11 were fatal including Ashley Moore’s.

“Certainly with the spotlight of heroin and opiate addiction and use right now, (Moore’s arrest and murder charge) is ultimately something that had to happen,” Scott said. “The sheriff’s office along with other jurisdictions are taking the heroin and opiate epidemic very seriously.”

In a statement, Sheriff Roger Harris said the heroin epidemic affects communities nationwide, including Spotsylvania County.

“We are seeing people in all stages of life, across socio-economic lines suffering, and in some tragic cases, dying from this addiction,” he said.

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