Sex For Drugs Scheme Leads To Fatal Teen Overdose - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Sex For Drugs Scheme Leads To Fatal Teen Overdose

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by Nick Beres

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Detectives call it a cautionary tale:  How  did a beautiful young teenager fall into a trap that cost her life?

Three suspects are behind bars charged in connection with the death of 18-year-old Joan Burgess.

"We guarded her and cherished her for 18 years and then she slipped right through our fingers," said Sam Burgess, Joan's father.

A grand jury indicted 53-year-old Billy Shouse, Joseph Truett and Courtney Belloli in connection with Burgess's death.

Maury County Detective Terry Chandler said Shouse targeted Burgess who suffered from anxiety and depression.  Chandler said he hooked her on pills and then traded narcotics for sex at his home.  Last February Burgess died of an overdose at the home.

In a jailhouse interview Shouse said he didn't give her any pills.

"She'd come see me every week or two and hang out with me," said Burgess, who admitted having a sexual relationship with the 18-year-old.

Burgess's parents said they tried to protect their daughter.  She was set to enter a drug rehab program the day after she died.

Shouse and Truett are charged with 2nd degree murder.  Belloli is charged with reckless homicide.


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