Man convicted of murder in Hyde County overdose deaths

Published 7:07 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

A Hyde County jury on Monday convicted Alfornia Anderson Jr. of two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the overdose deaths of Sarah Reams and Ryan Gibbs in 2017.

Anderson was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 38 years in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

Reams and Gibbs overdosed on June 1, 2017, after buying what they thought was cocaine. Experts testified that the drug that killed them was actually heroin with fentanyl.

“By their verdicts the Hyde County jurors agreed that the dealer should be held accountable,” Edwards said

Edwards said there is some responsibility on the victims, even though they ingested heroin thinking it was cocaine.

“Unfortunately for Sarah and Ryan, they paid for that decision with their lives,” he said. “Webber is accountable as well, and she will receive her just punishment.”

Testimony in the trial indicated that Gibbs contacted Tiffany Webber, who is also charged with murder, and asked Webber for cocaine. Webber contacted Anderson, who told her that he didn’t have any cocaine. Anderson and Webber stayed in contact throughout the night by way of phone calls and texts. Eventually, Anderson told her to meet him at a known drug hangout in Engelhard

Webber gave Anderson Gibbs’ $100 in exchange for the heroin. According to a press release from District Attorney Seth Edwards’ office, Webber was a heroin addict and had purchased heroin from Anderson for her own use three times before, and she knew the product she purchased for Gibbs was heroin and not cocaine. The powder was white and chunky. Neither Anderson nor Webber informed the victims that the drug was actually heroin. Reams, 16, and Gibbs, 23, were found dead in Gibbs’ kitchen later on.

Webber pled guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in 2018 and testified for the State against Anderson. Webber has not yet been sentenced. Both Anderson and Webber have been incarcerated since June 2017.