Fentanyl was involved in the tragic New Year’s Day death of prominent Charleston, South Carolina attorney David Aylor, multiple sources familiar with the ongoing investigation into his death have confirmed to this news outlet.
While no official toxicology report has been released, this news outlet has learned that this lethal substance was reportedly found in his system – along with a benzodiazepine (likely Valium) and alcohol.
“The fentanyl killed him,” a source familiar with the investigation confirmed.
Aylor’s family has been informed of the preliminary toxicology results, which are part of an ongoing Charleston, S.C. police department probe. To be clear, investigators have found no evidence at this point suggesting Aylor was specifically targeted with a laced narcotic. Nor has anyone suggested he knowingly obtained fentanyl – or any other illegal drug – prior to his death.
Aylor, 41, was found dead at his Charleston residence on Lowndes Point Drive at approximately 12:15 a.m. EST on January 2, 2023. Preliminary reports from the scene suggested he succumbed hours earlier to some sort of pulmonary aspiration involving emesis.
As police try to determine what killed Aylor – a beloved member of the Charleston legal community – several “political sensitivities” have reportedly arisen in connection with the ongoing investigation.
Among these “sensitivities?” How to handle follow-up interviews with several individuals reportedly on the scene when police arrived at Aylor’s home. One of the names on the interview list? S.C. circuit court judge Bentley Price.
A heavily redacted Charleston police report from the incident indicated three men – aged 43, 45 and 46 – were present at Aylor’s residence when first responders arrived. It is not clear whether one of those individuals was judge Price, but Lowcountry law enforcement sources have confirmed he is “being interviewed” in the aftermath of the toxicology results.
Price was one of the first people to arrive on the scene at Aylor’s home after police were called, sources have told this news outlet – and was reportedly with him the evening before he died. It is not immediately clear whether Price was at Aylor’s home when he died, however.
A political science graduate of the College of Charleston, Aylor put himself through law school at the University of South Carolina by working as a bartender at The Back Porch on Gervais Street in downtown Columbia, S.C.. Palmetto politicos are very familiar with this erstwhile establishment – which served as home base for the influential “Quinndom,” arguably the most powerful political empire the Palmetto State has ever seen.
In fact, Aylor briefly represented the patriarch of the “Quinndom” – veteran GOP strategist Richard Quinn– during the high-profile ProbeGate investigation into corruption at the S.C. State House.
The news about Aylor comes as Palmetto State law enforcement leaders are pushing hard for the S.C. General Assembly to pass a fentanyl trafficking statute. These leaders – including S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) chief Mark Keel – hope such a law will help them address a worsening epidemic of fentanyl overdoes.
“Law enforcement continues to see the deadly impacts of fentanyl on South Carolina families,” Keel told this news outlet back in October. “New legislation that holds violent traffickers accountable is needed to curb the increasing flow of fentanyl into communities across the state.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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