Father charged with son's heroin death

ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Francois County man is charged with second-degree murder after authorities say he refused to call for help when his son began to overdose on heroin.

It took place in a house in the Big River Estates subdivision in Bonne Terre. Investigators say as the son was struggling, his father dragged him to a bedroom to keep an eye on him, but then left him on the floor where he died.

Authorities say 41-year-old James Kobermann, Sr. was sharing half a gram of heroin he bought with his 19-year-old son, James Kobermann, Jr.

Charging documents state that after the son took a second line of the drug inside their Bonne Terre home, he began to go into quote "medical distress."

The father attempted mouth-to-mouth, but the sheriff says he refused to call 911 and even stopped the teenager's girlfriend from calling because he did not want to get in trouble. After the father went to work the next day, someone finally called, but the son was dead.

The sheriff says heroin is ravaging his community like many others.

"Heroin seems to, as meth did, cross all age and financial boundaries, it doesn't matter rich, poor, or somewhere in between, heroin seems to effect all those people," said St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock.

Kobermann, his son and the son's girlfriend lived in the house, but the fathers' friends own it. One owner says he had no idea they were doing drugs.

Deputies, with the help of St. Louis police, picked up Kobermann, Sr. in the city late Wednesday night, near Interstate 44 and Jefferson. He is charged with second-degree murder and distribution of controlled substance, and is held on a $250,000 bond.


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