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Another Minnesotan charged with murder in overdose death

Last week, we discussed how Minnesota law enforcement is cracking down on drug suppliers in fatal overdose cases. Since then, another Minnesotan has been charged with third-degree murder in connection to a methadone overdose that killed her husband in March 2013.

As of Thursday, authorities were looking for the 43-year-old Newport woman after a warrant had been issued for her arrest in Washington County. The Washington County attorney said drug overdose deaths have become "a scourge upon our local communities," which is why "[w]e in law enforcement are doubling our efforts in these types of cases."

The 43-year-old woman told police that her husband returned from work at about 11:00 p.m. on March 29 and consumed about 12 beers. This was reportedly also verified by the woman's daughter.

The woman said her husband then asked for some methadone, which she had a prescription for. She said she “filled up a syringe with approximately 30-40 milliliters of methadone" and gave it to her husband, the police report states. Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever.

According to the police report, authorities responded to a 911 call around 1:30 a.m. and found the 33-year-old unresponsive. By the time the man was brought to Regions Hospital in St. Paul he was in full cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at about 3:00 a.m.

The Ramsey County medical examiner reportedly found that the man died as a result of mixed-drug toxicity from methadone and ethanol.

In Minnesota, a third-degree murder charge can result in a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. For that reason, anyone who is accused of supplying drugs in an overdose fatality needs to take the charges extremely seriously and consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Source: Bring Me The News, "Newport woman charged in husband's fatal methadone overdose," Tim Lammers, Jan. 24, 2014

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