A St. Paul man who won dismissal of a murder charge in exchange for pleading guilty to drug dealing has been sentenced to several years in prison in connection with the overdose death of a man in his Orono home.
Garyegus L. Cooper, 39, was given a term of 8⅓ years during sentencing last week in Hennepin County District Court. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Cooper will serve nearly five years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Cooper admitted to second-degree sale of a controlled substance, a transaction that killed 32-year-old David A. Mack-Bohnhoff in June 2016. Authorities dropped a count of third-degree murder, which would have meant a harsher sentence upon conviction.
An autopsy determined that Mack-Bohnhoff died from ingesting a mixture of fentanyl and alcohol, with recent heroin use as a contributing factor.
Near his body were a lighter, a spoon holding illicit drugs and needles. Also nearby was a plastic baggie with heroin inside. Testing on the baggie turned up DNA matching Cooper’s.
Cooper’s criminal history in Minnesota reaches back to when he was 16 years old and was convicted of possessing crack cocaine. He also has two convictions on his record for felony assault.
The plea deal also called for Cooper to admit to an unrelated promotion of prostitution charge, with the sentence for that crime to be served concurrently with the term for the drug-related conviction.