An alleged drug dealer charged with murder in the killing of a 55-year-old man in Bay Point earlier this month is accused of shooting the victim over a drug deal gone wrong, a prosecutor said today.
Patrick Laughlin, 59, pleaded not guilty in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Wednesday to murder with an enhancement for the use of a firearm causing death.
He was charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 55-year-old Bay Point man who has been identified as Dale Cadwell, according to prosecutor Simon O’Connell.
Laughlin was initially charged with attempted murder, but the complaint was amended after Cadwell died from his injuries on Monday.
The shooting was reported around 9:20 p.m. on April 4 outside of a mobile home park in the 100 block of North Broadway, according to the sheriff’s office.
Cadwell was standing outside of the mobile home park talking to Laughlin through a fence when they began arguing over the amount of heroin the victim wanted to buy from Laughlin that day, O’Connell said.
The victim apparently wanted to purchase a small amount of heroin but Laughlin replied that he only sold large quantities, the prosecutor said.
At some point during the fight Laughlin pulled out a gun and shot Cadwell, who was able to stumble away to a neighboring home.
Neighbors called 911 and someone inside Laughlin’s mobile home helped him flee the scene, O’Connell said.
Deputies arrived to find Cadwell suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where he succumbed to his injuries on April 14, according to the sheriff’s office.
Laughlin was arrested the night of the shooting and taken to county jail in Martinez, where he is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
He is scheduled to return to court in Martinez on April 22.
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