MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for the 2020 overdose death of Lauren Cole, the inspiration behind Morgantown nonprofit Lauren’s Wish.
Benjamin Shreve, 28, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Mon County Courts, which is the maximum sentence for the charge “Drug Delivery Resulting in Death; Failure to Render Aid.”
The other person involved in the delivery, Tremayne Johnson, was also sentenced to the maximum of 15 years for the crime earlier this year. In July 2020, Shreve and 26-year-old Cole bought heroin from Johnson which was laced with fentanyl. Lauren Cole died from an overdose as a result. Shreve pleaded guilty to the crime in June.
Lauren’s father, Michael Cole, told Nexstar’s WBOY that this may be the first time ever that two defendants have received the maximum charge for the crime; it was added to the West Virginia Code in the legislature’s regular session in 2020.
Since her death, Cole’s father has founded the nonprofit Lauren’s Wish, which aims to help recovering addicts like Lauren, who was a WVU graduate and cheerleader who struggled with addiction for 10 years. Lauren’s Wish’s Addiction Triage Center at Hazel’s House of Hope, which will supply temporary housing for people who are struggling with addiction and seeking treatment placement, will officially open in November, according to Michael.