The husband of a woman found dead inside a freezer last year in Mineral Wells has been indicted on accusations that he provided the methamphetamine on which his wife overdosed.
Cecil Huddleston, 49, was arrested Saturday after a Palo Pinto grand jury indicted him Jan. 22 on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance causing death or serious bodily injury. He remained in the Palo Pinto County Jail on Wednesday, where he was also being held on a parole violation warrant.
The body of Shannon Herrin Huddleston was discovered Aug. 8 by her 19-year-son as he opened a chest freezer in their home’s garage to get some food.
An autopsy determined that Herrin Huddleston had died from the “toxic effects of methamphetamine” with hypothermia a contributing factor, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office determined.
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Palo Pinto District Attorney Michael Burns said that although Herrin Huddleston’s death was ruled accidental, the investigation continued because of the unusual circumstances behind it.
“The initial investigation left unanswered questions as to exactly what had occurred that would cause an otherwise normal woman to get into a deep freezer and die,” Burns said. “So once we received the autopsy report and determined that the cause of death was, in fact, methamphetamine toxicity, it prompted us to look further and to investigate further as to the source of the methamphetamine.”
He said that further investigation by the Texas Rangers and Mineral Wells police uncovered evidence that the woman’s husband had procured the methamphetamine and assisted her in injecting it, he said.
“We have evidence that he loaded the syringe and handed it to her and she injected it,” Burns said.
The obscure statute, part of the Texas Health and Safety Code, is a third-degree felony. Burns said prosecutors intend, however, to file notice of enhancement because Huddleston is a habitual offender, meaning he could face from 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
“Perhaps people who provide drugs to other people will think twice,” Burns said.
A search warrant affidavit previously obtained by the Star-Telegram states that on the night before she was found dead, Herrin Huddleston had been at home with her husband, a family friend, and her son, Jordan Glover, at their residence in the 1400 block of S.E. 19th St. in Mineral Wells.
Glover told police that he left the house about 1:30 a.m.
Huddleston told investigators that he left for work at 6 a.m. and that his wife was alive, the affidavit stated. The friend was asleep on a couch, Huddleston said.
Around 6:30 p.m. that evening, Glover returned home and found his mother dead.
“My mother’s dead,” a clearly upset Glover told the call taker. “I opened up the freezer and she’s in there.”
Burns said investigators believe Herrin Huddleston had taken the methamphetamine earlier that day. The autopsy report noted that the woman had a fresh needle mark in her arm.