Arrest made after 8 Southampton students hospitalized in laced candy case

Local News

SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — An 18-year-old was arrested and charged for an incident that sent multiple students from Southampton High School to the hospital Tuesday. Investigators say they all ingested candy laced with an unknown substance.

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release the substance the students ingested caused them to feel ill. A statement released by Southampton Memorial Hospital said eight students were in “good” condition at the Franklin hospital as of 3 p.m. The patients range in age from 14 to 16.

The hospital released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying seven of the patients were released and one was transferred.

According to the release, the substance has been identified as candy that a student was handing out. That student was identified and questioned by deputies.

On Tuesday night, Southampton deputies announced they arrested an 18-year-old Suffolk man in connection to the incident. Jaden Phillips, 18, is charged with possession with intent to distribute, distribution to someone under 18 (both felonies) and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He’s being held at the Southampton County Jail without bond.

Jaden Phillips

The sheriff’s office clarified that Phillips is not a student at the school. He is not the person police questioned at the school earlier.

There’s still no word on what exactly the candy was laced with.

Students described what they saw as they learned multiple students were getting sick.

“When I saw all the ambulances, I didn’t know it was that many people they had taken out and it’s really sad,” said student Shanonda Scott.  “I had seen people crying and people were passing out from what I heard and what I was seeing. So they told everybody to go back to class. I said, ‘oh man we’re about to be on lockdown.’ As soon as I said it, they called us on lockdown.”

As word spread quickly about what happened at the school, parents like Antwan Woodley came to pick up their kids.

“We really wouldn’t have known what was going on if it wasn’t for the kids talking,” said Woodley.

Woodley says he asked what happened, but says he was told he would get an email later on.

The superintendent was at the hospital with students and families.

10 On Your Side did reach out to her to see how and if parents were notified. We’re working on getting a response.

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