Man will be prosecuted in federal court on drug charges after county dismisses attempted murder charges

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 2:02 PM EDT
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FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - A man charged with two counts of attempted murder of two Oak Hill police officers by exposing them to fentanyl will be prosecuted in federal court on drug charges, but not on the attempted murder charges.

Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti Jr. said today the attempted murder charges in the county against Keith D. Adams, 38, have been dismissed after consultation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Ciliberti said the determination was made that Adams faces “far more serious penalties” for his conduct under federal versus state law.

Adams was also charged with felony drug possession.

Ciliberti also said simultaneous prosecutions in state and federal courts would be “problematic.”

However, Adams’ alleged attempt to cause the officers to overdose will be considered if he is sentenced in federal court, and that conduct could result in a more severe punishment under federal sentencing guidelines.

Ciliberti also said the attempted murder charges in Fayette County can still be prosecuted at some point.

Adams, who remains incarcerated in Southern Regional Jail with no bond, was indicted in federal court on Sept. 7 for felony possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Adams was initially charged on Sept. 27, 2022, in Fayette County with felony drug possession and two counts of attempted murder.

A criminal complaint filed against Adams alleged he intentionally exposed the two police officers to fentanyl with the intent to kill the officers.

Those officers were treated at the scene by EMS and at a local hospital emergency room. Both officers fully recovered.