A Johnston County Grand Jury has returned a True Bill of Indictment charging a man with second degree murder in the opioid overdose death of a 2017 graduate from West Johnston High School.
Joshua John Novak of Willow Spring is accused of providing heroin to 18 year-old Justin “Cole” Bennett of Benson who died in August from a fatal overdose, just weeks after graduating from high school.
A grand jury met in Smithfield this month and indicted the 24 year-old suspect for Bennett’s death.
The indictment alleges Novak “unlawfully, willfully, knowingly and feloniously did distribute or provide a controlled substance (opium) … to Justin Cole Bennett and the ingestion of such substance caused the death of Justin Cole Bennett.”
Bennett was a member of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Benson.
Novak was arrested September 22nd by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office on the second degree murder charge. The indictment was handed down on October 2nd.
This was not Novak’s first brush was the law. He was convicted in March 2017 for habitual breaking and entering and felony obtaining property by false pretenses stemming from a February 2017 break-in on Beulah Melton Drive in Willow Spring. He was sentenced to 12 months probation according to the NC Department of Corrections website.