‘The best two hours … worst six hours of my life.’ Kentucky father mourns son’s passing one day after release from jail

Published 7:33 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

On  Friday, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd told Christopher Perkins the court was rooting for him after sentencing Perkins to a three-year diversion on the condition that he successfully complete a long-term drug program on two cases involving possession of methamphetamine and heroin.

Less than 24 hours later Perkins had died.

“It’s still not real yet,” Larry Perkins, Christopher’s father, told The State Journal Saturday afternoon. “I keep thinking I’ll get a call in a minute from him.”

Perkins said Friday got off to a good start.

“I picked him up and all went well,” he said. “Everything went great. He was looking forward to rehab. He said, ‘I can’t do this any longer.’”

Father and son stopped for a bite to eat and then went to Christopher’s house.

“We were telling stories, everything was great, and he said he had to go in and let his dog out,” Perkins said. “About 20 minutes later his wife hollered at me.”

Christopher had fallen to the floor and couldn’t get up. Perkins said he performed CPR on his son until the paramedics arrived.

“I’d like to tell Judge Shepherd I’m so thankful for letting him out and that he didn’t die in jail,” Perkins said. “There would have been a big article about someone dying in jail. Instead I got to spend two of the greatest hours I’d spent with him in a long time.”

Perkins said his son was diagnosed with fibromyalgia three years ago and prescribed a high dose of Percocet, which led to his drug problem.

He added that no drugs or alcohol were found in Christopher’s system. He did test positive for COVID and had elevated blood sugar. Larry Perkins said his son hadn’t been diagnosed with diabetes.

“It made me feel good that there weren’t any drugs of any sort,” Perkins said. “He told me, ‘Dad, after you’ve been in jail for two weeks, you’re not real to yourself. It takes about three to five weeks, and after about five weeks you start to realize where you’re at.’”

“It’s called sober time, and he called me and said he never wanted to be back in this place again.”

Friday marked a new beginning for Christopher.

“I’m so thankful to Judge Shepherd, and not only Judge Shepherd but Judge (Thomas) Wingate. They were really close. He did my son’s wedding.

“I was back with him at home. He was talking about what we were going to do this summer. We were going to have some good times once he got over this and got things squared away.”

Perkins said the decision to take Christopher off life support was made around 1:30 a.m. Saturday and he died around 2 a.m.
“I told someone I had the best two hours of my life and the worst six hours of my life all in on day,” he said.

“Those two hours were precious to me. I saw a side of him I hadn’t seen in awhile, and it was wonderful.”