Prominent Charleston Attorney David Aylor Died of Accidental Drug Overdose, Coroner Says News

David Aylor, a prominent Charleston attorney who was found dead at his home Jan. 2, died of an accidental drug overdose, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

According to Coroner Bobbi O’Neal, Aylor had a mix of drugs in his system.

The drugs included fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid about 50 times more potent than heroin; diazepam, a benzodiazepine typically prescribed for anxiety; clonazepam, another benzodiazepine; and ethanol, likely indicating he had been drinking.

His medical history includes anxiety, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and migraines, according to a Coroner’s Office report filed with the Freedom of Information Act by The Post and Courier shortly after Aylor’s death. But the report doesn’t indicate whether he took any prescriptions.

The Charleston Police Department said on February 23 that the department’s narcotics unit is continuing an investigation into the death, including the source of the drugs.

The coroner’s report was prepared and signed by O’Neal on February 16, but was not submitted to the newspaper until February 23, just minutes before a wider public release of Aylor’s cause and nature of Aylor’s death.

In a Feb. 17 interview, O’Neal described the opioid epidemic, fueled by a recent explosion in fentanyl-related deaths, as “a mass extinction.”

Last year her office reported more than 200 overdose deaths, about 60 percent of which were fentanyl-related.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control recently released its analysis of overdose deaths statewide as of 2021. It found that more than two-thirds of the 2,168 people who died from an overdose that year had the man-made drug in their systems.

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O’Neal suspects the number is small, both locally and nationally. Overdoses can go undetected, and forensic pathologists cannot perform costly and lengthy toxicology studies on every deceased.

The announcement comes a day after the Post and Courier reported that the 41-year-old’s law firm would be closing its doors, despite earlier statements from the firm that they would be carrying on his legacy.

Aylor founded his corporate law practice in 2007 after earning a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston, where he later returned to teach, and a law degree from the University of South Carolina.

This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.

Reach Ali Rockett at 843-901-1708. Follow her on Twitter @AliRockettPC.