FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – A Myrtle Beach man who sold drugs to a woman which caused her death was sentenced to 20 years on Thursday in federal court.
James Latron Sumter, 35, pled guilty on Feb. 4 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, the use of which resulted in serious bodily injury or death.
Evidence presented during his trial showed Sumter sold cocaine and heroin to Charles Hunt, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon.
Hunt bought the drugs for a female named Kathleen Capra. According to the release, Capra used the drugs and eventually died of an overdose. Hunt dumped Capra’s body in a wooded area just across the North Carolina border. He then worked with Jose Anthony Ortiz, Jr. to destroy many of Capra’s personal items.
Hunt and Ortiz were prosecuted for their roles in covering up the overdose. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 21 and 27 months in federal prison, respectively.
In his role in Capra’s death, Sumter faced 20 years to life in prison.
Earlier this year, Sumter filed a motion to withdraw his plea deal but that motion was denied.
In court on Thursday, Sumter said he only pleaded guilty because he was scared for his life. He said he never saw Capra buy drugs and never saw her use any drugs.
Sumter also said he felt sorry for Capra and her family.
The judge stood by his decision to not grant Sumter’s motion to withdraw his plea.
Sumter’s attorney asked for the mandatory minimum sentence and pointed to Sumter’s “meager criminal history” and four children.
The prosecuting attorney said Sumter was in a situation of his own making and his case is about decisions and he chose to sell the drugs.
Sumter will serve 20 years in a federal prison.