FRONT ROYAL — A Front Royal man charged with murder in a February 2020 overdose is expected to enter into a plea deal.

Brandon Lawson, 30, of the 100 block of W. 12th St., was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and distribution of fentanyl by a Warren County Circuit Court grand jury in April.

His case was continued to 9 a.m. Dec. 10, when he is expected to enter into the deal, according to an official in the Circuit Court clerk’s office.

Lawson is represented by Front Royal attorney Eric Wiseley. Warren County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Fleming is prosecuting the case.

Lawson was previously charged at the general district court level with a distribution charge from the Feb. 29, 2020 incident. But the Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office dropped the charge on Dec. 1 because of the potential for a homicide case, Commonwealth’s Attorney John Bell previously told The Daily.

The case was sent back to the Front Royal Police Department for further investigation before seeking the grand jury indictment, Bell said. He declined to comment on the particulars of the case then and what part of the investigation led to the second-degree murder charge.

According to court documents for the district court distribution charge, Lawson told police he gave Gerald Brandon Blevins drugs the morning of Feb. 29, 2020.

Lawson woke up around 7 a.m. that day and Blevins was up before him, the complaint states.

As soon as Lawson woke up, he “used” and gave some to Blevins, the complaint states. Lawson then went to the bedroom, and upon returning 4-10 minutes later, found Blevins hunched over on the bed and vomiting, the complaint states.

Lawson placed Blevins on the floor and administered two nasal doses of Narcan, the complaint states. Lawson called 911 and EMTs were dispatched. Front Royal police responded and found Lawson, who was trying to help Blevins, the criminal complaint states.

Blevins was unresponsive and EMTs attended to him, the complaint states. A checklist for bail determinations, completed on Feb. 29, 2020, by a magistrate after Lawson was arrested, states that Blevins died.

Lawson told police he bought the fentanyl on a corner in Baltimore, the complaint states.

Lawson is released on a $5,000 bond.

Contact Charles Paullin at

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