Man facing manslaughter charge in 2022 drug overdose death at Philips Highway motel

Antonio Bartley booking photo from Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. (News4JAX.com via JSO)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Fourth District State Attorney’s Office is aggressively prosecuting people suspected in drug overdose deaths, and on Thursday, News4JAX learned of an arrest in a Jacksonville case.

In September 2022, a man was found dead in a motel on Philips Highway in the Spring Park neighborhood. Antonio Bartley, 32, was arrested the following October on charges of selling cocaine and fentanyl to undercover officers in the same area.

The medical examiner ruled the man’s death an accidental fentanyl overdose, documents show, but the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office searched the man’s phone, which was in the motel room. Detectives reported finding text messages between the man and Bartley, who is now facing an additional charge of manslaughter.

Since 2018, the State Attorney’s Office has opened more than 50 prosecutions in drug OD deaths. Half of them have resulted in guilty pleas.