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A guilty plea last week in Iredell County Superior Court ended a criminal case naming the drug dealer responsible for the overdose death of a Mooresville woman.

On Nov. 6, Justin Wayne Kauffman, 25, pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, selling a Schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to sell/deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, and manufacturing/selling/delivering/possessing a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Police said he received an 87- to 145-month active prison sentence.

On Dec. 3, 2017, Mooresville police were called to 655 Brawley School Road to investigate the death of a woman who was found in a vehicle in the parking lot. Detectives determined the woman, 22-year-old Alexandria Leigh McNeely, had bought drugs from Kauffman, police said.

On April 24, 2018, he was charged with second-degree murder, among other drug-related ofenses.

“The arrest and subsequent prosecution of Justin Kauffman sent the message to our community that we will not tolerate people illegally selling and providing these dangerous opioids, such as fentanyl, which continue to destroy lives,” said District Attorney Sarah Kirkman in a news release. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alexandria McNeely, and I believe it is vitally important for the safety and protection of our community to see those who are illegally selling these drugs are held accountable. I would like to commend the Mooresville Police Department for its investigation in this case and its ongoing commitment to justice.”

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