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Alleged O.C. drug dealer charged with murder in overdose death

April 18, 2013|By Matt Stevens

An alleged Mission Viejo drug dealer is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a charge of murder in the death of a 21-year-old woman by providing her with a lethal dose of drugs and then refusing to take her to the hospital after she lost consciousness.

Prosecutors accuse Louis Richard Wood, 35, of being a heroin user and dealer for about a decade at the time of the Emma Wihlborg's death in November 2011.

Wood had been in a relationship with Wihlborg, 21, for weeks, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The couple shared a room at an Extended Stay America Hotel in Lake Forest, where Wood allegedly was also dealing heroin to a male client, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 15, 2011, prosecutors say, Wihlborg returned to the hotel room and informed Wood that she had “consumed a large quantity of alcohol and smoked Oxycontin.”

Wihlborg also consumed Xanax pills, prosecutors said, before Wood gave her some black tar heroin, and later, a crushed Methadone tablet, authorities said. Wihlborg, prosecutors said, later passed out in a chair.

Prosecutors allege that Wood knew the danger of using and combining drugs after learning that a previous client had also died of a lethal combination months earlier.

Wood allegedly tried to wake Wihlborg the following morning but refused to take her to the hospital when she did not regain consciousness.

Prosecutors say that that Wood instead left the hotel room to pick up more drugs.

Wihlborg was pronounced dead by paramedics and an autopsy later revealed that Wihlborg died of a lethal combination of drugs.

Wood was indicted March 11, 2013, on one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted, the district attorney’s statement said.

He is being held on $1-million bail.

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matt.stevens@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattStevensLAT 

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