Mother of overdose victim glad dealer facing charges
Dawn Freeman only learned her son had been using heroin in October.
By Dec. 10, he was dead.
Joey Robinson was just 27 when he took a fatal dose that contained fentanyl, according to charges against the man who sold it to him.
“He assured us he had it under control,” Freeman said of her son’s heroin use. “We never experienced anything like this before and now know that addicts never have it under control without some help.”
Daniel Parrish was indicted on the strict-liability statute that holds those who sell deadly doses responsible for those deaths.
“We didn’t know for sure that the (Atlantic County) Prosecutor’s Office was going after anyone specific,” Freeman said. “We always thought that the guy who did this would just walk free, as do all the dealers.”
But Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner has been using the statute recently.
This week, three men were arrested after a grand jury indicted them in two May 2 deaths.
“It was a sense of relief knowing he won’t kill anyone else’s family member,” Freeman said of Parrish. “But I know there is always another one to take his place, unfortunately.”
She said she’s just glad Joey isn’t being forgotten.
“It’s like after they pass everyone forgets about what happened unless you’ve been directly affected by it,” Freeman said. “I’m so thankful that the Atlantic County Prosecutor didn’t forget Joey.”
The oldest of three, Robinson was never trouble growing up, his mother said.
He loved to swim, sing karaoke and the Pittsburgh Steelers, she said. The avid mechanic hoped to open his own shop someday.
She isn’t sure what led to his drug use. He told his 20-year-old brother, Tony, that he started using heroin to treat the pain in his shoulder and back because he didn’t have insurance.
He was also depressed over the deaths in the past few years of his father and grandmother who raised him.
Now, Tony and their sister, Dominique, 18, are left to mourn Joey as well.
“I’m glad they are working so hard to get these people off the streets,” Freeman said of the strict-liability indictments. “They are killing our kids with no remorse at all. They know what’s in it when they sell it. I don’t understand how any amount of money can make someone knowingly kill another human being.”