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Garland man charged with murder in connection with Wylie fentanyl overdose

Several small circular clear containers containing pills sit on a table.
Wylie Police Department
According to a news release, Wylie investigators and Dallas police seized "raw fentanyl" and more than a thousand pills containing fentanyl from an apartment where they arrested 30-year-old Kennedy Kirby on Feb. 6, 2024. Kirby was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Wylie police charged a Garland man with murder Thursday in connection with a deadly fentanyl overdose last month — the second time this week North Texas police have arrested someone on murder charges in connection with an overdose death.

Kennedy Kirby, 30, is accused of delivering a package containing fentanyl to Jacob Bowers through "an unsuspecting Uber delivery driver." Detectives began an overdose investigation into Bowers' death Jan. 11.

Wylie investigators and Dallas police arrested Kirby Feb. 6 at an apartment where police officials said they found 22.3 grams of “raw fentanyl,” 1,436 M30 fentanyl pills, more than 1,000 "Xanax Fentanyl" pills, other drug paraphernalia, electronics, a gun and cash.

Kirby was initially arrested on a charge of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. But when the toxicology report in Bowers' death was released, police said they upgraded Kirby's charges to murder.

"Fentanyl is a growing problem in our country," Wylie Police Chief Anthony Henderson wrote in a statement. "The Wylie Police Department will thoroughly investigate all cases of overdose and hold those persons responsible for placing fentanyl in our community."

A law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott took effect in September that allows prosecutors to pursue murder charges against those accused of playing a role in fentanyl overdose deaths.

But the law has come under fire from critics who say increased penalties don't stop people from using drugs, and instead stigmatize people with substance abuse issues. The law's critics also say increased penalties could instead stop people from seeking help for those going through an overdose.

The charges against Kirby came days after Grapevine police arrested 34-year-old Kami Ludwig for murder Monday, alleging she bought and gave her boyfriend William Shane Nolen, a former Tarrant County Juvenile Court judge, fentanyl-laced pills.

Nolen died in November, police said, and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office ruled it was caused by mixed drug toxicity.

Got a tip? Email Toluwani Osibamowo at You can follow Toluwani on X @tosibamowo.

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Toluwani Osibamowo is a general assignments reporter for KERA. She previously worked as a news intern for Texas Tech Public Media and copy editor for Texas Tech University’s student newspaper, The Daily Toreador, before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is originally from Plano.